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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Possibility of a STD from dentistry work?

 JonathanKeegan - Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:18 am


I am curious as to the possibility of contracting a STD from a visit to the dentist's office. I understand that dentists are required to undergo a specific set of procedures to make sure their tools are bacterial free, but I have my doubts. I visited my dentist approximately six months ago. Right after the visit I had a rather large pimple like object on the corner of my lip, but it went away in about a week. I experienced no other symptoms other than the object.

About a month ago I noted that I had a small, pimple like object at the area where the growth of pubic hair ends on the top area. There is only one, and is not a group of them.

I am wondering if this is simply a coincidence or I am at risk of having a STD. I understand that these diseases can only be transferred via sex or contact with infected blood into one's own bloodstream (I may have had a cut in my mouth, but I am not sure). I also realize that the risk for infection for me is very low - for me to have an STD the doctor must a) use tools that were not disinfected before use, b) the aforementioned tool to have come in contact with a patient with a STD with a cut in his or her mouth, and c) have a cut in my mouth.

Keep in mind I am only 16 years of age and have not yet had any sexual encounters of any kind. I am also wondering if oral STDs stay isolated in the area, and if symptoms of an STD transferred orally can appear in the genital area.

Please let me know if any more information would be of assistance to you. I definitely appreciate any insight on my condition and predicament.

 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:07 am

User avatar Hello,
What you have described could be inflammation of the Hair follicles or the sebaceous (sweat) glands. They form visible as small yellow/black or red nodules or might only be felt as small lumps in the skin. They may contain pus in them.

It is possible to get STDs like hepatitis through contaminated instruments used in dental or surgical procedures that came in contact with the blood of infected person and then in contact with damaged tissue without being disinfected.

But the bumps you described are not suggestive of any kind of STDs even if you are worried about herpes virus type I that causes cold sores or herpetic lesion at the oral cavity, it is not the same type of virus that causes genital herpes which is Herpes virus type II.

Cold sores are usually caused by type I Herpes simplex infections and are contagious. People usually get their first time infection with herpes virus during childhood. The first attack of herpes is associated with fever and painful sores around the mouth (gingivostomatitis) that may last several days then heal completely. The virus then remains as dormant infection or in a latent period.

Once exposed to certain conditions like fever, colds,stress or exposure to the sun, reactivation occurs resulting in cold sores. An initial prodrome to herpes infections occurs in the form of burning or tingling sensation followed by blisters that are mildly painful. The diagnosis of cold sores based mainly on the clinical appearance of the lesions.

It is likely to be a coincidence but direct clinical examination is essential to reach proper diagnosis.
So, I advise you to follow up with your doctor.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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