HealthSex

Oral Sex is a Leading Cause in Mouth Cancer

Remember when you were young and you thought you could catch anything, including a baby, from oral sex? Now remember when sex-ed came along and slapped and added the cherry to our pie of paranoia?

We might need a throwback on that reality check, because oral sex is becoming one of the biggest factors in the rise of mouth cancer!

Human papilloma virus (HPV) has been a health concern in recent years for women, with more and more doctors urging women to consider vaccination against the disease, but what about protecting your mouth?

Euroclinix released an infographic this month showing the link between oral sex and mouth cancer and HPV plays a big role in it.

The UK is seeing a boom in cases of oral cancer with roughly 6,797 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2011 alone; but the Oral Cancer Foundation found that “approximately 26 million Americans on any given day have an oral HPV infection.”

Even though a majority of people can clear the virus naturally through their immune responses, HPV has the potential to develop into a life threatening cancer.

READ: Is Oral Sex on Your Period as Taboo as You Think?

Health experts are claiming cases of HPV found in the mouth are almost certainly a result of sexual activity but more specifically oral sex.

Dr Helen Webberley of Oxford Online Pharmacy told Huffington Post, “We have known for some time that many genital cancers including vulval, cervical, penile and anal are associated with the wart virus, so it seems a logical conclusion that the same should apply to mouth cancers.”

So how do you protect yourself?

Take it back to sex-ed 101 and consider using condoms and dental dams when having oral sex.

Even if you’re in a monogamous sexual relationship, the only way to guarantee protection from infection is to put a barrier between the penis and the mouth!

Ariel Leconte

Ariel Leconte

Ariel is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and creator of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps blog. She is equally obsessed with social justice, lipstick, culture, and red wine.