Young woman with painful sore wondering what are the signs of STDs in your mouth

What Are Signs of STDs In Your Mouth?

Written on December 18, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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If you are wondering what the signs of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are, you are not alone. Some people wonder, what are the signs of STDs in your mouth? STDs are common conditions that affect many people around the world. Read this article for everything you need to know.

What Are STDs?

STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual contact, either vaginal, oral, and/or anal.[1] There are several kinds of STDs, and symptoms of each can range from nonexistent to severe. If you are sexually active, especially with many partners, or if you are with a partner who has had many partners, it is important to get regularly tested. This will allow for peace of mind that you and your partners are not at risk of infection or are currently carrying an infection.

Some of the most common STDs include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. While each STD carries its own risks, symptoms, and treatment plans, most STDs can be treated, with better outcomes the earlier that they are caught. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites that can turn into an STD.[1] This is why treatment is important, as an STD can develop if an STI goes untreated. Sometimes, these terms are used synonymously.

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Signs Of STDS In the Mouth

If you have oral sex, an STI can pass from the genitals to the mouth or vice versa. Many STDs can affect the mouth.[2] Some of these include [3]:

  • Chlamydia: A sign of chlamydia in the mouth can include a sore throat, or this STD may not present with symptoms at all.
  • Gonorrhea: This STD may not present with symptoms or may cause a sore throat.
  • Syphilis: This STD can affect the lips, mouth, and throat. Signs of syphilis in the mouth can include painless ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Herpes: This STD can affect the lips, mouth and/or throat. Signs of herpes may be sores around the mouth that are painful or itchy.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV): This STD can affect the mouth and throat. Signs of HPV in the mouth may include warts in the throat.

How To Prevent STDs In The Mouth

If you are having oral sex, there is a chance that you could be giving or receiving an STI if you are having sex with an infected person or if you are infected. The chances of giving or getting an STD during oral sex can be reduced by using protection.[4] You can use protection methods such as a condom, dental dam, or other barrier methods.

Tests And Screening for STDs

You can take several tests and screening protocols to find out if you or your partner has an STD. These can include blood tests, urine samples, and/or fluid samples (in the case of open sores).[5] If you or a partner do not have symptoms but want to take a proactive approach to ensure that your sexual health is safe, you can be screened for STDs. While this is not a typical, routine procedure, you can request this from many healthcare providers.

Generally, it is recommended to get screened for STDs if [5]:

  • You have never been screened. It is recommended for most people ages 15-65 who are sexually active to get screened at least once.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are a woman over the age of 21. It is recommended that these women also have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer.
  • You have had a history of infections or STDs. If you have been treated for an infection, it is recommended to get screened again in about three months or retested if you have changed sexual partners.
  • You are a male having sex with another male.
  • You have HIV.
  • You have recently switched sexual partners and are wanting to be proactive.

Support Your Sexual Health With Everlywell

At Everlywell, we combine the best in modernized, rigorous lab testing with easy-to-access, at-home medicine. We provide a range of blood tests, including several of our sexual health tests, that you can take from the comfort of your home. Your results will be analyzed in CLIA-certified labs and an experienced healthcare provider will deliver your results.

Everlywell also offers online STD consults, available in two hours or less. If you think you may have been exposed to an STD, you can connect with a clinician from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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  1. STD Diseases & Related Conditions. CDC. Last reviewed July 7, 2023. Accessed on December 6, 2023.
  2. Scaccia A. Oral STDs: What are the symptoms? Healthline. Published May 5, 2023. Accessed on December 6, 2023.
  3. STD Facts - STD risk and oral sex. CDC. Last reviewed December 31, 2021. Accessed on December 6, 2023.
  4. Oral sex and STIs. American Sexual Health Association. May 2023. Accessed on December 6, 2023.
  5. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) - Diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic. Published September 8, 2023. Accessed on December 6, 2023.

Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT works with a wide variety of individuals, ranging in age from children to the elderly, with an assortment of concerns and clinical conditions. She helps individuals optimize overall health and/or manage disease states using personalized medical nutrition therapy techniques.

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