Oral warts are caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus, or HPV, and must be removed by a trained medical professional. Topical medications may be prescribed, although these medications have been reported to have mixed results. Additional methods of treatment for oral warts include cryotherapy, electro-cauterization, or laser treatments. Rinsing with mouthwash on a regular basis may help to prevent the recurrence of these warts after treatment. Any questions or concerns about the most appropriate method of removal for oral warts in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Topical medications are often successful in treating warts on most areas of the body. Due to the constant moisture in the mouth, this method of treatment may not provide consistent results in the case of oral warts. Some doctors may prescribe this type of treatment as an initial course of action and move to other methods if the topical preparations are not successful.
Cryotherapy is frequently used to remove oral warts. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the tissue on and around the warts and usually shrinks the abnormal growths or causes them to completely fall off. This type of therapy may need to be repeated several times in order to successfully remove the warts. Mild skin irritation may occur after treatment, but serious complications are rare.
Electro-cauterization is another method that is often used to remove oral warts. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses electric currents to burn off the lesions and seal the blood vessels to prevent excessive bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed after the procedure to prevent the chances of developing an infection.
Laser treatments may be used to treat oral warts in some situations. This is usually an outpatient procedure that implements the use of high-powered lasers to remove the lesions. As is the case with most of these treatments, this procedure may need to be repeated several times in order to attain the desired results. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may be recommended if there is significant discomfort associated with any of these procedures.
Due to the difficulty in successfully removing oral warts in just one treatment, prevention is important. The virus that causes these lesions is caused by a contagious sexually transmitted virus. Avoiding sexual contact with an infected partner is the ideal method of prevention. An additional precaution is to periodically rinse with mouthwash, especially after physical or sexual contact with someone who may be infected.