The Chief executive Officer of New Vision Dental Clinic in Accra, Dr Felix Govina, has stated the importance of safe practices during oral sex for men and women.

He recommended the use of condoms for men to reduce the risk of infections, rather than engaging in unprotected oral sex adding that for women, there were dental barriers available that offered protection against diseases.

While acknowledging that people may continue to engage in oral sex, Dr  Govina cautions that it could have negative effects on one’s oral health, potentially leading to mouth diseases. Therefore, he advised individuals to consider these protective measures seriously.

The dentist, who has practised for over 26 years, threw light on this during a discussion on “Effects of Oral Hygiene on Sexual Health” on The Mirror’s X Spaces, a platform dedicated to addressing lifestyle issues that impacted overall well-being.

Dental barriers
He said dental barriers were thin sheets like the condom that could be applied to the lining of the vagina and have the stimulation that one wanted from their partner.
“The dental barriers are for both male and female but for males, they can still use condom”, he explained.

Dr Govina said oral sex carried a high risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if one partner had an infection.

He highlighted the role of oral hygiene in sexual health, pointing out that the mouth contained numerous bacteria and germs that were vital for maintaining normal oral hygiene explaining that, if there were oral health issues such as gum bleeding or vaginal inflammation, engaging in oral sex could transfer bacteria and potentially lead to diseases in a partner’s system.

“So when a man has gum bleeding and starts practising oral sex on the female, he is transferring this bacteria in his inflammation directly onto the female’s organ and if there is inflammation on the lining of the vagina, then this bacteria straight away initiates diseases in her system. There is always a tendency of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases into your partner,” he said.

Dr Govina said there were three types of oral sex, “we have the cunnilingus which is the oral stimulation of the clitoris or the vulva, and we have fellatio which is the female sucking the penis and the analingus which is stimulating the anal area by both partners.”

Addressing the question of whether rinsing with mouthwash or brushing the teeth immediately after oral sex could reduce the risks, Dr Govina explained that rinsing alone could not eliminate bacteria or germs from the system.

Oral health
According to him, maintaining good oral health involved keeping the gums, teeth, and oral cavity healthy. He recommended regular brushing of the teeth first thing in the morning and the last activity before bedtime stressing that “neglecting oral health can lead to costly treatments when oral diseases reach an advanced stage, such as severe gum disease and tooth decay.”

He cautioned against using herbal concoctions for oral health conditions, as they might harm the oral lining and promote infections. Instead, he advised seeking professional dental
care when needed.

Regarding the use of tomatoes for cleaning a baby’s teeth, Dr Govina said while tomatoes contained beneficial components such as lycopene, there was no scientific evidence to support their use for oral hygiene. He suggested sticking to standard practice for dental care.