What are oral warts?
Besides warts commonly seen on the skin HPV can lead to the appearance of warts in mouth. Oral warts in the mouth and throat are usually small and discreet, very often there is only one or a small number of them are present at any time. Genital warts beside the genital area can occur anywhere in the mouth or on the lips, they are usually not painful if you do not irritate or traumatize them.
How do oral warts look like?
Oral warts can appear in many different forms, such dome-shaped growths that can be white or color of normal mucosa, flat surface colored as normal mucosa, or thickening of the cauliflower-like surface. Genital warts in the mouth becoming more common in our society with an increasing number of couples who engage in oral sex.
Causes of oral warts
Genital warts in the mouth and on the tongue are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which exists in more than 150 strains. These viruses are transmitted from person to person and several family members of HPV have been identified as responsible for oral warts, including HPV13, HPV32, HPV2, HPV6 and HPV11 which are known to cause the genital warts.
They are spread by kissing, and oral-genital contact. Poor hygiene can also be the culprit and touching the lips or consuming food with unwashed hands after touching infected genitals. Oral warts are more common in people with a weakened immune system, which can easily be subject to HPV.
Symptoms of oral warts
When warts develop you can feel pain in the mouth, especially if they are irritated with food, tongue, or if you accidentally bite them. Depending on the place where they are, warts can interfere with eating and enjoying a meal.
Treatment of oral warts
Genital warts in the mouth can spontaneously disappear over time, although it does not happen in many cases. Oral warts are more dangerous than most other types warts because they can lead to cancer. So, if you notice any unusual growths in the mouth or on the lips you should immediately see a doctor.
Genital warts in the oral cavity can be destroyed and removed in several different ways. The doctor can choose one of the various methods for the removal of genital warts in the oral cavity, including: surgical removal, freezing with cryotherapy or using lasers (primarily for warts on the lips).
These treatments are effective, they can be painful, but there is always the possibility that the warts can reappear suddenly. Never attempt to remove oral warts by yourself by burning, cutting or in any other way.
Is there a cure for oral warts?
For certain types of HPV infection vaccines exist but only as prevention, there is no cure but extensive research of HPV are in progress so that should lead to an effective and permanent solution for the treatment of warts caused by the HPV virus.
Best way to prevent oral warts is to avoid oral sex. Keep in mind that condoms will not cover all the areas that are infected, so it is not a guarantee that you will be protected.