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Tooth cavities, oral sex, and HIV transmission

Sep 13, 1999

I was told once that if you have a cavity in a tooth or had a filling that came out of a tooth and you were engaging in oral sex and HIV infected seman got into that cavity you could contract HIV. Is this a possiblity?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. A cavity in a tooth is not normally a direct access to the bloodstream, so having a cavity will not normally increase your risk for HIV during oral sex. However gum disease is another matter. If you have gum disease, this can make it easier for HIV to get into your bloodstream, therefore increasing your risk for HIV infection during oral sex.

As a part of good dental hygiene and care, if you have a cavity, if you have gum disease, or if your gums bleed frequently (a symptom of gum disease), please see your dentist as soon as possible to have these problems taken care of.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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