Oral Warts: Symptoms, Pictures & Treatments For A Mouth Wart
Oral warts can appear anywhere within the oral cavity or on the lips and are generally not painful unless they have been irritated or traumatized. Typically, oral warts are small and discrete, and there is usually only one or a small number of them present at any one time. Rough, and lumpy, they can appear in several different guises. Warts on the mouth might show up as dome-shaped growths that may be white or the color of normal mucosa. Oral Warts can also appear as flat-topped elevations that are the color of normal mucosa, or thickened frond-like growths.
Oral warts are becoming more prevalent in our society with the increase of oral sex since the 1970s. There are various HPV-related oral lesions that can possibly grow on your oral cavity. We’ve listed below the possible lesions that are known to grow on your oral cavity.-
One of the lesions is common warts or verruca vulgaris, which normally grows on the skin. This type of oral wart is caused by HPV strains 2 and 4. They normally grow on the gingiva surfaces and palate. They are highly contagious and common victims of these are children but can occur to anyone. These lesions rapidly enlarge and remain stable for a few years.
More on Verruca Vulgaris warts.org/types/common-warts (Common Warts).
Squamous papilloma is one of the common lesions in the oral cavity caused by HPV. They grow anywhere in your mouth but most commonly grow on the top portion of the tongue (ventral tongue), tongue web (lingual frenulum), the inner part of the lips (labial mucosa) and the palate. These kinds of oral warts have a rough surface and grow like a cauliflower. They are whitish in color.
Any age of host infected with HPV can grow oral papilloma. The specific strains of HPV that cause these lesions are HPV strains 6 and 11. They are recommended to be removed through surgical excision. Should there be a recurrence of warts, this can possibly be either infection of condyloma acuminatum, which is another type HPV related to oral lesions or worse would be a carcinoma, which is a type of cancer that starts growing in the cells that comprise your skin and tissue linings.
This type of lesion is normally found in the genital area and is also considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, it can grow orally because it can be transmitted orally or through autoinoculation. This means that the only time you’ll grow condyloma is when there is contact between mouth and an infected genital part. If this sort of lesion is found on children, this could be a major sign of child or sexual abuse and authorities should be notified immediately with the findings. More information about Genital warts can be found at https://warts.org/types/genital-wart.
Specific HPV strains that cause oral condyloma are HPV strains 2, 6 and 11. They appear to be similar to squamous papilloma but are more grouped and larger. They are also more dispersed than oral papilloma. They commonly grow on the tongue web (lingual frenulum), soft palate and the inner lining of the lips (labial mucosa). When condyloma is not treated early, it can lead to deformity which is even harder to treat.
To avoid autoinoculation, it is recommended that condyloma lesions undergo simultaneous surgical excision or removal of the lesions through surgery. A certain medication called Podofilox is used to treat condyloma but is only approved for anal and genital wart use only and has not been approved by FDA for oral usage. If approved, it could be effective in treating oral condyloma lesions.
Focal epithelial hyperplasia (Heck Disease)
A form of HPV related oral lesion that is specifically caused by HPV strains 13 and 32. Focal epithelial hyperplasia is also known as Heck disease and children are commonly diagnosed with this disease. However, the disease is seen progressing in patients that are positive in HIV.
They appear to be the same color as the mucosal but may also appear as whitish, periodically. The texture of the lesions is smooth and soft and are in the shape of a dome with a size range of 3 to 10 millimeters. These are the kind of lesions that you can just ignore because treatment is not needed to remove the lesions as they go away by themselves. But they linger in your mouth for several months to a few years. There is also a low chance for it to recur.
Causes of Oral Warts
Oral warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a double-stranded DNA virus, of which there are more than 100 strains. They only infect humans. Several members of the HPV family have been identified as being responsible for oral warts, including HPV strains 2, 13, 32 (Terai, M et al. Oral wart associated with human papillomavirus type 2. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine 2007; 28 (3): 137-140), 6 and 11.
They are transmitted by kissing, and oral-genital contact. Poor oral hygiene may also be to blame for the infection. Oral warts are more common in people with a weakened immune system, such as those with human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
Symptoms for Oral Warts
There are not many symptoms when it comes to having oral warts beyond the actual wart itself arriving on the scene. In some cases, you will not show signs of infection and only when oral warts have grown large and you are experiencing pain, will you identify them.
At this stage, warts in the oral cavity can be very risky. The mouth can feel sore as warts develop, especially if they are irritated by food. Other possible oral wart irritants can be biting the tongue or accidentally biting the wart. They cause discomfort and pain to those infected who are already having a hard time eating and enjoying their meals.
Oral Warts Treatment
These types of warts may spontaneously disappear with time, though this is not always guaranteed. Oral warts are more dangerous than most other types of warts as they can lead to cancer. Therefore, if you notice any unusual growth in your mouth or on your lips, a doctor must be consulted immediately. Oral warts can be destroyed and removed in a number of different ways, but because their location is difficult to reach, topical creams have mixed results.
A medical practitioner may go and destroy oral warts by opting for one of a variety of different methods including surgical removal, freezing with cryotherapy, injecting warts with interferon alpha, or zapping them with a carbon dioxide laser. Even if these treatments are effective, they can be painful, and there’s always a possibility of warts making an unscheduled return.
Never attempt to remove a wart yourself by burning, cutting or any other method. There is a flurry of activity in the research field as scientists are trying to develop a vaccine that will be effective against all types of warts.
Prevention of Warts in and Around the Mouth
To prevent oral warts, condoms should be used when engaging in oral sex or for the best prevention, don’t have oral sex at all. Dental dams are also useful for the prevention of oral warts. Keep in mind that using a condom will not cover all areas that are infected, so it is not a guarantee that you will be protected.
In order to 100% prevent being infected with HPV you must refrain from having sexual relations with an infected person. Always maintain proper hygiene, especially on your oral cavity, and avoid oral-genital contact as much as possible.
When infected with HPV, if you don’t notice the growth of a wart inside your mouth and it grows without treatment, there is a possibility that this benign lesion can transform into a malignant one and become cancerous. Oral warts are way more serious compared to the other types of warts so, take immediate action when symptoms of oral warts occur.