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HPV in the Mouth
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HPV in the Mouth

I have done a tone of research trying to find out how common HPV is in the mouth,  I am getting all different types of answers.

I have engaged in Oral sex with some that has HPV with genital warts.  However I did not know this at the time.  They told me later and I did not notice them when in the act,  At the same time I also have HPV with genital warts given to me by my ex.

How likey is this to be transmitted to the my mouth?
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Welcome to our Forum.  The reason you are having such a hard time finding out definitive information about this topic is that it is a relatively new topic of research which actually have several "parts" to the question.  I find it helpful to think of this question as first, how common is oral HPV infection? and secondly, how concerning is it if it occurs?.  Let's address the second question first as the answers are more reliable.

The reason to be concerned about oral HPV is the concern that it might lead to something more serious, like oral cancer.  Fortunately, we know that, as for HPV at genital sites, in nearly all persons the infection is cleared from the body by the immune system.  Further, in the entire US, there are only about 6,000 cases of oral or throat cancer per year that are due to HPV-16, the main genital type that has been implicated; and those occur almost exclusively in people age 50 and over.  In addition, for oral cancer, other factors such as smoking seem to play an important role in risk for oral cancer.  Thus, if you were to have oral HPV, there is little risk that it would be troublesome to your health.

For the second part of the question- how common is oral HPV, this is difficult t say and, unfortunately there are a number of people who authoritatively (at least to their own way of thinking) give different sorts of answers.   Clearly not all exposures or even most lead to infection but what the precise number is is unclear.  it however appears not to be something to worry about..

I hope this comment is helpful to you. I wish there were better data but the studies just have not yet gotten us to where we want to be.  EWH
6 Comments
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So is it a just wait and see type of thing now?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Not even.   I would say this is not something to worry about unless you develop a lesion that you note.  If this occurs you should have it evaluated, possibly by your dentist (dentists are becoming more and more active in general oral health issues).  EWH
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What if I just found out I have HPV but not the type that causes warts, can I still spread it to my partners mouth by engaging in oral sex?
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Here is a better explanation of my concerns if you wouldn't mind please helping answer these questions and concerns I have, I would greatly appreciate it.

I was just recently was informed that my Pap results showed abnormal cells and that I am HPV positive.  My Doctor has told me it is not high risk and that she doesn't need to see me again for a year, but I have a few questions for what this means for my partner and I.  I was given the Gardasil vaccination about 2 and a half years ago but my boyfriend has not had the vaccination.  I am wondering if I can be a carrier  to the high risk strands of HPV and pass them onto my boyfriend even though I am protected by from them? I am also wondering if since my boyfriend and I have been on and off for two years, meaning he most likely has HPV also would I be putting my self at a high risk of also getting HPV in my mouth by engagging in unprotected oral sex?

Thank you!
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300980_tn?1194933000
I think you are worrying too much.  .  For better or worse, at present HPV is a "fact of life" and most people have it or will have it at some point in the future.  Despite this fact, only a tiny minority of persons with HPV get the consequences of infection (primarily women and primarily cancer and pre-cancerous lesions).  HPV is the most commonly acquired STD.  Over 85% of sexually active women will have HPV infection at some time in their lives.  The figure for men is less well studied but similar.   In some HPV will cause genital warts, in others it will not cause warts but may lead to changes in PAP smears.  In nearly everyone who gets HPV, warts or otherwise, the infections will resolve by themselves without therapy in 8-24 months.  In a very small minority of women, HPV infection can persist and lead to the pre-cancerous lesions that PAP smears detect and which can then be treated.  In your own case, you are protected by  the vaccine from the most problematic types of HPV.  Your Pap smear abnormalities may be to other HPV types but it is not something to worry about (said this before).

Statistically, if your BF has had other partners (and given your PAP results, even if he is not), he probably had HPV.  Not a bug deal.  

I've already addressed your questions about oral HPV.  There are just not enough data to provide statistics. Your risk of either being infected or having trouble because of it are quite small. EWH
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