What Is Gonorrhea of the Mouth?

Gonorrhea can be spread through oral sex.
Kissing can spread gonorrhea of the mouth from one person to another.
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea of the mouth.
Painful swallowing and a sore throat can both be symptoms of gonorrhea of the mouth.
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  • Written By: Marco Sumayao
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2014
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Gonorrhea of the mouth is a bacterial infection that can cause tonsil inflammation, a sore throat, and a fever. It is most commonly transmitted through oral sex, although infected individuals also can transmit the disease through kissing. Left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious medical problems, so it needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

This condition is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which can also infect the genitals, the rectum, and the eyes. In women, the bacteria could find its way to the cervix, potentially infecting a future child. The disease is transmitted through direct contact, so it's most often spread to the mouth through oral sex.

An incubation period of one to four weeks is typical for gonorrhea. During this time, it is likely that an infected individual will show no signs of the infection. By the time the symptoms manifest, the disease becomes highly contagious, making early detection and treatment absolutely necessary.

Gonorrhea of the mouth has several symptoms, including swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, painful swallowing, a sore throat, vomiting, and a fever. Bacteria transmitted orally also has a higher chance of infecting the eyes, leading to pain and increased sensitivity to light. Depending on the patient's level of sexual activity, the infection might spread to other areas of the body and cause other symptoms.

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Other affected areas include the genitals, the rectum and, in women, the cervix. An individual with an infection in the mouth might spread it to these areas through oral sex. Signs of gonorrhea in these areas include pain during urination, rectal bleeding, burning sensations in the genitals, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, the disease might lead to infertility.

Gonorrhea usually is accompanied by a thick, creamy, greenish pus-like discharge from the infected areas. This discharge is often a cause of great discomfort, because the viscous substance passes rather painfully through the urethra and other ducts.

The infection is treated with antibiotics. Medications such as amoxicillin and ceftriaxone can be administered either orally or via injection, and they are often very effective in eliminating the bacteria from a person's the system. Throughout the treatment, it is important for the patient abstain from any form of sexual intercourse. In the case of gonorrhea of the mouth, it also is best for the patient to avoid kissing, so as not spread the infection this way.

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Discuss this Article

clintflint
Post 4

@bythewell - The problem is that abstinence only education does nothing of the kind. It does the opposite. It's fine to teach that abstinence is the best, as long as you teach contraceptives and disease prevention alongside it.

Because it's a fact that a lot of teenagers of all creeds and cultures are going to have sex whether they are taught about abstinence or not. If they don't know how to protect themselves, they end up with a long list of STDs.

This has been shown over and over again and I've never been able to understand why people won't learn from the evidence.

We'd eliminate gonorrhea much faster if everyone was taught realistic methods to keep from catching it.

bythewell
Post 3

@pastanaga - Well, gonorrhea is rapidly becoming resistant to antibiotics because people don't use them properly in gonorrhea treatment. It's the kind of disease we should have eradicated by now and it looks like it's going to have a massive resurgence in the next few years.

So I don't see what's wrong with abstinence only education if it stops diseases like this from getting out of control.

pastanaga
Post 2

@anon132971 - I don't know what the answer is if you're on medication for it, but I do know that people used to die of gonorrhea, so I don't think it's the kind of infection that clears itself out without treatment.

I didn't even know that you could get gonorrhea of the mouth and throat. That sounds completely vile.

This is why, if you're having sex with someone and you don't know their health status (for certain, not just because they've told you they're fine) you must use a barrier.

People get very blase about oral sex, particularly if they've been taught with abstinence only education, because it doesn't seem like a big deal compared with vaginal intercourse.

But you can catch some nasty things. So make sure you wrap it (male and female) before you stick your face in it.

anon132971
Post 1

How long can the N. gonorrhea be measured from the throat or mouth after infection?

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