Transmitting hepatitis through saliva is usually only possible with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A. In order for a person to contract Hepatitis C, there must be an exchange of blood. Hepatitis B is more commonly spread through saliva by means of kissing and oral sex. It is possible to transmit Hepatitis A through saliva if oral contact is made with a contaminated source. Symptoms of the three forms of the disease are very similar and damage to the infected person's liver may occur.
The act of spreading hepatitis through saliva is usually seen with Hepatitis B. This form is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease that can be transmitted through a variety of bodily fluids, including saliva. French kissing and oral sex are the most common ways it is spread through saliva. Hepatitis B is usually not spread through casual forms of kissing, where saliva is not exchanged.
Since Hepatitis B is usually transmitted through sexual contact, ways to avoid spreading this form of hepatitis through saliva include limiting the number of sex partners. The use of condoms or some form of protective barrier during all forms of sex is encouraged. It may also be helpful to know a potential sex partner's disease status before engaging in sexual activity.
Hepatitis A is the second form of the disease that can be spread through saliva. With this strain of the disease, contaminated food or fecal matter must somehow enter the person's body by means of oral contact. While the disease itself cannot spread or infect a person through an exchange of saliva, it often enters the bloodstream through this fluid. It may be difficult to determine whether a person has been infected with the Hepatitis A strain unless a blood test is performed.
Some forms of sexual contact may result in the transmission of the Hepatitis A virus through saliva. The probability of contracting the disease in this manner is higher with individuals who engage in oral-anal contact. Limiting or eliminating sexual contact of this nature can prevent the spread of this form of hepatitis through saliva.
Hepatitis C cannot be transmitted through saliva. This strain is usually only passed by exchanging infected blood between individuals. While some countries have screening practices in place to help prevent this type of occurrence, they are not always foolproof. Exchanging saliva by kissing a person with Hepatitis C does not result in the transmission of the virus.