Maintaining all areas of your health is important to maintaining an overall healthy body. Not only is your physical health important, but so is your dental, sexual, mental and emotional health. Each area of health overlaps into another one, though, and effects it. For instance, the state of your mental and emotional health directly affects your physical health, just as the state of your dental health affects your mental, emotional and physical health. Obviously, your sexual health can affect your physical, emotional and mental health. Believe it or not, though, the state of your sexual health can also affect your dental health. Here’s how.
What Does Dental Health Have to Do with Sexual Health?
Although many people wonder what sexual health has to do with dental health, the connection is quickly made once the topic of oral sex is approached. Sexual acts encompass more than just straight intercourse. In fact, many sexually transmitted diseases, more commonly simply referred to as STDs, are transmitted orally. Therefore, the state of your sexual health has a direct correlation with the state of your dental health when it comes to possibility of you contracting a sexual disease. Moreover, the state of your dental health can also be affected by the sexual health of any intimate partner that you have because if he or she has an oral STD, then you could contract it via kissing and other oral activities.
Types of Dental STDs
There are numerous types of dental STDs, but by far the most common one is human papilloma virus (HPV). According to the American Dental Association, nearly 14 million new cases of HPV break out each year. What’s so dangerous about HPV is that some high-risk strains of the virus end up leading to oral cancer. Among other common types of dental STDs include mouth warts, herpes, syphilis and gonorrhea. Although some of the signs and symptoms of dental STDs can be the same for some diseases, there are a few symptoms that are unique to each one as well.
Dental STD Symptoms
The particular symptoms that patients suffer from when they have a dental STD vary depending upon the specific disease that they’ve contracted. Generally, though, some of the most common indicators that you have contracted a STD include the following:
As you can see, many of the symptoms of dental STDs are the same ones as many other conditions, some of which are physical illnesses. That’s why the best way to determine whether or not you suffer from a STD if you suffer from any or a combination of the above symptoms is to first evaluate whether you’ve possibly engaged in any oral activities throughout which you might have contracted one and, if so, to get tested. Testing for most dental STDs merely consists having an oral swap taken from the inside of your mouth.
Treatment for Dental STDs
Like any other type of disease treatment, the treatment for STDs varies depending upon which type of STD you have. Whereas topical anesthetics are sufficient treatment for some types of STDs, other more severe STDs might require antibiotics, penicillin or more extensive types of treatment. The following is a list of some of the most common types of dental STDs and their treatments:
Prevention of Dental STDs
Although you might not completely rid yourself of the chance of contracting a dental STD, there are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce the likelihood that you’ll contract one. The best preventative measure is to abstain from all oral sexual activity, even kissing. However, if that’s not possible or desirable, then you can practice safe sex as well as good dental hygiene since a clean mouth helps prevent bacteria from thriving and growing within your mouth.
Colgate. “STDs of the mouth and how to avoid them.” Retrieved on December 8, 2016, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/hiv-aids-and-stds/article/stds-of-the-mouth-and-how-to-avoid-them-0515.
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Mouth Healthy. “What sexually transmitted diseases look like in your mouth.” Retrieved on December 8, 2016, from http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sexually-transmitted-diseases.
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