You spotted a tiny growth in your mouth that looks like a miniature cauliflower. You’ve had warts before and that’s how they looked. But if that’s what it is, how did it get in your mouth? Is it contagious? You’ve tried gargling with the strongest mouthwash you can buy, but it’s still there. How can you get rid of it? You can’t put the ointment you bought for other warts in your mouth. There has to be something you can do, but what? Read on. We have suggestions in this article that can help you.
Table of Contents
Why Do I Have Warts in My Mouth?
The skin inside your mouth is comprised of many of the same types of cells that comprise the skin outside of your body. That leaves it vulnerable to many of the same problems that you experience with the rest of your skin. Warts are one of those conditions.
Warts are caused by HPV, which infects the upper layers of skin cells. HPV thrives on skin that’s warm and moist, so the skin of your mouth provides the ideal habitat. Even the tiniest break anywhere in your skin gives the virus an opportunity to invade.
Genital Warts Are on My Mouth
HPV has more than 100 varieties, each of which creates a different condition. Only a few result in warts. Different varieties produce warts in different places. One HPV type is responsible for genital warts. Warts are usually more unsightly than harmful. Genital warts are an exception. If left untreated, genital warts can lead to cancer.
Mouth warts are occasionally common warts, but more often a wart in mouth is a genital wart. The propensity of genital warts for becoming malignant means they need to be treated.
Will Genital Warts Spread to My Mouth? Unfortunately, genital warts can invade your mouth. The usual route is via oral sex, but you can contract them by kissing someone with oral warts. HPV spreads infection through skin-to-skin contact. If you have any break in the skin in or around your mouth, even one so small you can’t see or feel it, the viral cells can potentially infect you.
You could give up any intimate contact with sexual partners, but there are other more practical steps you can take.
- Limiting the number of sexual partners you have.
- Avoiding sex with someone who has had many sexual encounters.
- Abstaining from all sex with someone with genital warts.
- Practicing safe sex.
The most important step you can take is to keep your immune system strong. Your immune system has the ability to suppress HPV.
If you have genital warts in or around your mouth, do not try to chew on them or pick at them. Warts are filled with contagious virus cells. Any wart that is irritated will shed cells. Each cell can start a new growth.
If more warts appear, your mouth will start becoming painful.
You will also notice difficulty with:
The warts can spread into your throat, making it painful or difficult to swallow. You can learn more about warts in throat in this article.
To keep from infecting others, you need to avoid sharing any personal hygiene products with anyone. If at all possible, don’t have sexual intercourse with anyone that involves mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-genital contact when you know you have an HPV infection.
HPV infects nearly everyone who is sexually active at one time or another. Not everyone develops symptoms, so many individuals don’t even know they have the virus. They can unwittingly infect others.
Because HPV can reside in your system in a dormant stage for months or years, you may never know when you got it. If you’ve had more than one sex partner, you also may never know who infected you. Although HPV can progress to cancer, it does so in a very small percentage of individuals. Nevertheless, it’s important to have any lesions examined by a medical professional.
Warts Are Growing Around My Mouth
Common warts grow mostly on your hands and fingers. They can be unsightly, but are harmless. Because they, like all types of warts, are contagious, they can appear in other parts of your body if given the opportunity. Most individuals touch their face and mouth numerous times a day, often unaware that they are doing so. It’s possible for common warts to infect your mouth, especially if you bite your nails.
Genital warts can infect your mouth if you have oral sex with someone who has warts on their genitalia. Kissing someone who has genital warts in their mouth also leave you vulnerable to infection. This article explains how you can develop genital warts on tongue from sexual activity.
Mouth Warts Can Be Painful
Mouth warts often occur singly, but can also grow in clusters.
Other characteristics include:
- Smaller in size than other warts.
- A rough “warty” surface.
- Various shapes from flat to raised domes.
- Various colors from very light to dark.
Food and drink can irritate mouth warts, which can make them painful. There is more information here on how a wart on gums can impair your ability to adequately chew your food.
What Can I Do About HPV Warts in My Mouth?
All warts are caused by HPV, although they have several other names. HPV warts in your mouth refer to genital warts and infect men and women equally.
Warts, in general, will disappear without treatment if you’re willing to wait up to two years for that to happen. It is not safe, however, to wait for HPV warts to go away. Left untreated, HPV warts sometimes become cancerous.
In your mouth, genital warts can lead to tumors located:
- In or on your tonsils.
- In your throat.
- On your tongue, especially near the base.
Individuals who smoke are at a much higher risk of developing genital warts in their mouth and the resulting malignancy.
How Do I Treat Mouth Warts?
The best treatment for mouth warts is prevention. Although you probably aren’t going to give up sex, good oral hygiene can help with prevention. If HPV can’t find a break in the skin in and around your mouth, your chances are infection are much lower.
If you do discover a wart in your mouth, seek immediate treatment to prevent further warts. It’s also important to have a professional diagnosis, as your growth could be something other than a wart.
Not Every Growth Is a Wart! Other types of growths include, but are not limited to:
- Hyperplasia: a growth of benign cells.
- Fibroma: a hard lump that’s round and smooth.
- Hemangioma: a mass of engorged blood vessels.
- Lipoma: a soft tumor containing fatty tissue.
Using a wart treatment on a growth that isn’t a wart could result in making things much worse.
Over The Counter And Home Remedies
Few over the counter products are safe to use in your mouth. If you decide to try one, read the label carefully. Anything you put in your mouth will eventually end up in your stomach, so you can’t use products that may contain toxic ingredients.
Some products, especially homeopathic formulas, are available in tablets. Thuja occidentalis is very effective in destroying warts.
It’s available in:
It can take days to weeks before you notice an improvement. To find out more details on over the counter medicine for warts, go here.
You can try home remedies such as rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide or strong salt water. Onion has antiviral properties, so dabbing the juice of an onion on your warts several times a day can help eliminate them. You can carefully apply castor oil or diluted tea tree oil to warts that are around your mouth, but don’t let either product get in your mouth. Apple cider vinegar is a proved genital wart killer when dabbed on. It has a strong, but pleasant, taste and is safe to use inside your mouth.
Home remedies require experimentation as they don’t always work for everyone. For more info about a home remedies for warts check out this article.
If the over the counter or home remedies work too slowly or not at all, consult a specialist. If possible, get treatment from someone who is experienced in treating mouth warts. Most of the removal treatments used for warts in your mouth are the same treatments used for warts elsewhere on your body. These can be painful, especially on the tender skin in your mouth.
The treatments include removing warts by:
- Applying prescription-strength creams.
- Burning them off.
- Freezing them off.
- Surgically cutting them out.
- Injecting them with something to stimulate your immune system.
- Destroying them with a laser.
Regardless of how your warts are removed, they have the potential to return. The warts are only a symptom of an underlying viral infection. Until your immune system can destroy the virus that causes warts, you are at risk for the warts to return.
Your BFF Is a Strong Immune System
Once any warts are removed, you need to focus on strengthening your immune system. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. If you smoke or drink to excess, it’s also a good time to stop smoking and cut back on your alcohol consumption.
A wart in mouth is altogether an unpleasant experience. It can have a negative effect on your sex life as well as other social activities. Most treatments to eliminate mouth warts can be painful and expensive, but it’s necessary to keep the growths from spreading.