Can Bacterial Infections Be Caused By Oral Sex?

Can Bacterial Infections Be Caused By Oral Sex?
Sexual Health

Can Bacterial Infections Be Caused By Oral Sex?

Nov 21, 2023

Many adults include oral sex in their sexual repertoire since it is a voluntary and private activity filled with fun. Thoughts about potential health dangers, such as bacterial infections, could surface as with any sexual activity. For personal experiences to be secure and enjoyable, it is crucial to comprehend the truth and bust myths regarding them. We shall examine the biggest question of "Can bacterial infections be caused by oral sex?" In this blog, you will get answer to this question and advice to support safe and healthy sexual behavior.

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Oral sex is one of the many sexual activities that can lead to the development of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), often referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Compared to other STIs, some are more likely to affect the mouth. Herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis are a few prevalent STDs of the mouth. Remember that other diseases including hepatitis A, B, and C as well as other STIs are also possible to catch.

Oral STD Signs And Symptoms

Following are some oral signs that show that STD may be present:-

  • Potentially painless mouth sores.
  • Fever blisters and lesions around the lips that resemble cold sores.
  • Difficulties swallowing and a sore throat.
  • The appearance of strep throat-like redness and white patches.
  • The lymph nodes or tonsils are swollen.

Oral STD is frequently accompanied by no symptoms at all, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is crucial to be conscious of both your own and your partner's oral and sexual health.

Prevention Of Bacterial Infection Due To Oral Sex

Asking your partner if they've recently had an STD test is the first step in helping to prevent STDs. Do any symptoms exist at all? The second step involves engaging in safe sex activities, such as barrier-assisted oral sex. In order to lower your risk of getting any kind of mouth sore or infection, you should also practice excellent dental hygiene. Remember that if you have gum disease or other oral wounds, you are more likely to get an STI during oral sex. 

Bacterial Infections And Oral Sexual Behaviour 

Oral intercourse can result in the transmission of bacterial diseases, however, the risk varies depending on the participants, their sexual hygiene routines, and general cleanliness. Here are a few typical bacterial illnesses linked to oral sex:-

Herpes Of The Mouth 

More than half of adult Americans have herpes, which is the most prevalent oral STD in the country. According to the American Sexual Health Association, many people receive the disease as kids through a kiss from a family member or acquaintance who has HSV-1. Cold sores and oral blisters caused by herpes typically recover in 7 to 10 days, but they can flare up at any time. Even in the absence of symptoms, oral herpes can spread to vaginal tissue.


The Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria is the source of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) known as gonorrhea. It is transmittable by oral, vaginal, and anal sex and can infect the throat and genital region.


Chlamydia can spread during oral, vaginal, and anal sex and is brought on by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It can affect the rectum, genitalia, and throat.


Syphilis is a contagious disease that can spread through oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse and is brought on by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. The infected location may develop sores or ulcers.

EBVor Epstein-Barr virus

The CDC cautions that because EBV is contracted or transferred by contact with bodily fluids like saliva, kissing someone who has the disease is dangerous. Mononucleosis or the emergence of oral hairy leukoplakia, which can result in white spots in the mouth that are uncomfortable to the touch and difficult to remove, are oral signs of EBV.

Bacterial Vaginal Infection (BV) 

While oral sex with a partner who has BV increases the risk of transmission to the mouth and throat, BV mostly affects people with the vagina.

Group A Streptococcus 

Class A A bacterium called streptococcus is capable of causing strep throat and, in rare instances, of spreading through oral intercourse.

CMV Or Cytomegalovirus 

A common herpes virus called CMV infects 50% of adults over the age of 40. While sexual transmission is a possibility, the CDC adds that CMV can also spread from infants to adult carers or by contact with other bodily fluids. Those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to CMV.


While the risk is smaller than with certain other STDs, hepatitis A, and C can spread through oral sex. Types A and B vaccinations are available, but not C. Adults with hepatitis may be at risk for developing oral cancer, so keep an eye out for symptoms and communicate with your doctor frequently.

Therapy For Oral STDs

Treatment is based on the type and severity of the STD. For instance, mild oral herpes can be treated with a topical anesthetic that is prescribed to lessen the discomfort of lesions and blisters on the mouth while the immune system works to repair them.

However, antiviral drugs can aid in accelerating the process in more severe cases. A variety of antibiotics are typically used to treat syphilis, chlamydia, and oral gonorrhea. Canker sores and other mouth irritations can be treated with a prescription mouthwash to help clean and soothe the area. 

Uncovering Myths And Truths Regarding Bacterial Infections

Myth: Bacterial infections are always the result of oral sex. It is a fact that oral sex might result in bacterial infections if one of the parties has gonorrhea or chlamydia. However, utilizing barriers like dental dams or condoms as well as maintaining excellent hygiene might lessen the danger of transmission.

Myth: Oral sex-related bacterial infections cannot be treated.

Fact: Antibiotics are an effective treatment for the majority of bacterial illnesses, including syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Early detection and treatment are crucial to avoiding complications and spreading the infection.

Myth: Only one partner needs to get bacterial illnesses checked for.

Factual Statement: To ensure thorough screening and suitable treatment if required, both sexual partners should be tested for STIs, including bacterial infections.

Myth: Following oral intercourse, using mouthwash or douching helps to avoid bacterial infections. It is unreliable to avoid bacterial infections after oral intercourse by using mouthwash or douching. The best defense against sexually transmitted infections is open communication, regular testing, and regular use of barriers like condoms or dental dams.

Myth: Oral bacterial infections are not frequently encountered.

Fact: If one or both partners have several sexual partners or engage in unprotected sexual behavior, bacterial infections from oral sex may arise.


Many adults find oral sex to be a common and intimate action. Even though bacterial illnesses can be passed along during oral sex, the risk can be reduced by being open with one another, getting frequent STI checks, and using barriers like condoms or dental dams. Maintaining safe and healthy personal practices requires understanding the truth and busting myths regarding bacterial infections and oral sex. 

Seek immediate medical assistance for testing and treatment if you have any symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to a bacterial illness. Keep in mind that for general sexual health and well-being, responsible and informed sexual behavior is vital. We hope you get an answer to the question: Can bacterial infections be caused by oral sex? For more insightful information, subscribe to our blog.



Can Oral Sex Cause Me To Acquire A Bacterial Infection?

Yes, oral intercourse with a partner who has a bacterial infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia can spread the infection.

Can Oral Sex Bacterial Infections Be Avoided By Wearing Condoms?

The risk of bacterial infections can be decreased by using condoms or dental dams during oral intercourse, although they do not offer full protection. The greatest strategy is to put up barriers and maintain proper hygiene.

Should I Get Checked For Bacterial Infections Right Away After Having Oral Sex?

After participating in sexual activity with a new partner or if you suspect exposure to an infection, it is advised to get tested for STIs, including bacterial infections, as soon as feasible.

Do Oral Sex-Related Bacterial Illnesses Have Any Symptoms?

Yes, bacterial infections may be asymptomatic, meaning that a person who has them may not exhibit any overt symptoms. The key to early detection and treatment of STIs is routine testing.

Even With A Bacterial Illness, Am I Still Allowed To Have Oral Sex?

The best course of action, if you think you could have a bacterial infection,  is to refrain from oral sex until you've obtained the right care and finished the suggested course of treatment.

Are Tests For STIs And STDs The Same?

The phrases STI and STD are frequently used synonymously and refer to essentially the same thing; STDs, however, are STIs that manifest symptoms. All STDs, in essence, originated as STIs. It is the same to test for both STIs and STDs. It's crucial to remember that STIs have an incubation time. Between the time you contact them and the moment your body recognizes them is this period. Therefore, it is feasible to perform a test too early to identify an STI.

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