Oral health is much more than just having a pretty smile. It is also concerned with preventing and treating infections of the throat and mouth. When it comes to oral health, the comparison between oral gonorrhea vs strep throat is a significant one.
Both oral gonorrhea and strep throat cause symptoms in the throat, generating confusion among people who suffer from both. The underlying causes, mode of transmission, and treatment for these illnesses, however, differ greatly.
So, if you’re puzzled about the difference between oral gonorrhea vs strep throat in this article, you’ll not only learn the distinction between the two, but also about their respective symptoms, causes, and remedies.
Oral gonorrhea and strep throat are two different illnesses, but they can often have similar symptoms. This makes it difficult to identify which infection you have without consulting a doctor.
Table of Contents
What is Oral gonorrhea?
Oral gonorrhea is a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoea or gonococcus. It’s the second most common STI in the UK after chlamydia with over 70,000 people catching gonorrhea every year.
Often referred as the clap, it can spread to the throat while having oral sex. The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid. It can easily be passed from person to person through unprotected oral sex.
Some people don’t know this but you can also get gonorrhea if you share vibrators or other sex toys that haven’t been washed or covered each time they’re being used.
The bacteria causing gonorrhea can also infect your cervix, urethra, rectum and less commonly the throat or the eyes.
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is unfortunately common particularly in kids. This bacterial infection is typically caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes.
If you have a strep throat, you may experience sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in your neck. Other symptoms may include rash and even abdominal pain in some cases.
Strep throat often spreads by respiratory droplets such as coughing or sneezing. Your throat may feel rough and scratchy if you have a strep throat.
Strep throat can often lead to problems including kidney irritation or rheumatic fever if left untreated.
Oral gonorrhea vs Strep Throat Symptoms
Imagine you wake up one morning with a sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in your neck. You feel uncomfortable and even swallowing without pain becomes unavoidable.
But what’s causing such trouble?
Is it oral gonorrhea or a strep throat?
It’s a bit difficult to recognize at the first instance. Oral gonorrhea and strep throat are two different illnesses with apparently similar symptoms. Both oral gonorrhea and strep throat can produce a painful throat, fever, and bulging lymph nodes in the neck. The symptoms of the two illnesses differ significantly:
Oral gonorrhea frequently results in a red, inflamed throat with white spots on the tonsils. If you have oral gonorrhea, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Throat discomfort
- Having difficulty swallowing
- Neck lymph nodes that are swollen
- Tonsil inflammation or redness
- Tonsillitis with white patches or pus
Strep throat frequently results in a severe painful throat, as well as white or yellow pus on the tonsils. It can also result in a fever as well as headaches and muscle pains. If you have a strep throat, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Stomach pain
- Body pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Small red patches on your tongue’s roof
- Difficulty in breathing
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor so that the infection can be diagnosed correctly. With proper treatment, you should get better within a few days.
Oral gonorrhea vs Strep Throat: How Is It Spread?
It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmitted via contact with an infected person’s oral secretions. This can happen during oral sex, kissing, or exchanging food or drinks with someone who is infected with the disease. It can also spread in other regions such as cervix, urethra, and rectum.
Here are some tips which can help you prevent oral gonorrhea:
- Use condoms or dental dams during oral sex and practice safe sex
- Avoid kissing or sharing food or beverages with people who have oral gonorrhea
- Get checked for STIs on a regular basis
Strep throat is a bacterial illness conveyed by respiratory droplets, such as those produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is generally spread through talking, singing, laughing, or even breathing near an infected person.
Here are some tips which can help you prevent strep throat:
- Always wash your hands properly and sanitize frequently
- Avoid close contact with people who might be infected
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose
Oral gonorrhea vs Strep Throat: Diagnosis and Treatment
Seeing a doctor is the only way to find out if you have oral gonorrhea or strep throat. They will question you about your symptoms and medical history, and they may do a physical exam. A throat swab test may also be ordered to identify the germs causing your infection.
Generally, antibiotics are used to treat both oral gonorrhea and strep throat. Oral gonorrhea is usually treated with a single antibiotic dosage. However, if you have a strep throat, doctors usually treat you with a 10-day course of antibiotics.
Different antibiotics are used to treat each of these infections. Strep throat is treated with penicillin or amoxicillin. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative antibiotic if you are allergic to penicillin.
To treat oral gonorrhea, doctors commonly use cephalosporins, a kind of antibiotic. But, with the increase in drug resistance, this antibiotic is not very useful in today’s time.
Another antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin was once recommended, however it is now mainly useless. Hence, Cephalosporins are the only available antibiotic for oral gonorrhea now.
You can get these antibiotics in liquid, pill, and tablet formats. Many antibiotics might induce diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and headaches. So in that case, antibiotic dosages require clinical supervision.
If you suspect you have strep throat or oral gonorrhea, don’t put off seeing a doctor. Early detection and treatment are critical for avoiding major consequences.
Oral gonorrhea vs Strep Throat: Possible Threats
If you do not get a test and leave the illness untreated, oral gonorrhea can spread. The bacteria can survive for three to four months, during which time you are at risk of transferring the bacteria to other people.
Neisseria gonorrhea (the bacteria that causes oral gonorrhea) can enter your blood and produce Disseminated Gonococcal Infection (DGI) in rare circumstances. Septic arthritis, tenosynovitis, polyarthralgia, meningitis, and endocarditis are all possible consequences of DGI.
Individuals with oral gonorrhea are more likely to catch or spread HIV because the condition can cause open sores or ulcers in the throat, allowing the virus to enter.
If the infection spreads to the reproductive organs, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can result in infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic discomfort.
Gonorrhea can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby. So if you’re pregnant and you think you’ve got gonorrhea, get a test done immediately.
It is important to get yourself treated before your baby is born. Without proper treatment, gonorrhea can cause permanent blindness in a newborn baby.
In men, the infection can lead to infertility issues as well as discomfort in the prostate gland and testicles.
While strep throat is normally treated with antibiotics, there are certain complications that can occur if it is not treated on time.
Rheumatic fever is a rare but severe strep throat effect that can damage your heart, joints, skin, and neurological system. It usually arises many weeks after the original strep infection and can cause long-term heart valve damage.
Scarlet fever is yet another consequence of strep throat characterized by a scarlet rash that feels like sandpaper. It frequently affects youngsters and is accompanied by a high temperature.
Strep throat can also lead to a peritonsillar abscess, a pus-filled pocket that can occur near the tonsils. It can cause significant throat discomfort, swallowing difficulties, and may necessitate drainage or surgical surgery.
Secondary infections that can result from strep throat include sinusitis and ear infections. These can be uncomfortable and may require extra treatment.
Rarely, strep throat leads to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN), which can harm the kidneys. It normally happens one to two weeks following the strep infection and can result in symptoms including high blood pressure, swelling, and blood in the urine.
It is quite easy for people with strep throat to spread the virus to others through respiratory droplets. Hence, be careful and avoid any close contact with people who are sick.
Impact of Strep Throat and Oral Gonorrhea on Society
Oral gonorrhea and strep throat have a substantial economic and social impact on society. The following are the economic expenses of oral gonorrhea and strep throat:
Direct expenditures include medical care, such as doctor visits, laboratory testing, and medications. Indirect expenses include lost productivity as a result of absence from work or school, as well as the cost of long-term consequences.
According to a 2017 research, the yearly economic cost of oral gonorrhea in the United States is $1.2 billion. According to the report, the economic impact of strep throat in the United States is $2.2 billion.
People suffering from oral gonorrhea and strep throat may face stigma and prejudice from others. As a result, you may experience social isolation, despair, and anxiety.
These bacterial infections can often hamper your relationships. People with oral gonorrhea, for example, may be unable to establish intimate interactions without putting their partners at danger.
Although oral gonorrhea can happen to anyone, certain groups have more chances of having it than others. Individuals who lead a polyamorous lifestyle, people living in unhygienic living conditions, are likelier to contract oral gonorrhea. Children and those with chronic health concerns are more likely to get strep throat.
Oral gonorrhea and strep throat are both curable. You may lower your chance of developing either infection by practising safe sex and often washing your hands. If you suspect you have oral gonorrhea or strep throat, you should consult a doctor immediately. Most patients recover completely with early diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to prevention and treatment, we must address another critical facet, and that is, stigma. People suffering from oral gonorrhea may often face stigma and prejudice from others. As a result, you may experience social isolation, depression, and anxiety.
So, we must try to establish a culture in which people with STI feel safe discussing their disease and get assistance without fear of judgement. We can achieve this by informing the public about these illnesses and addressing the stigma associated with them.
1. What’s the difference between oral gonorrhea and strep throat?
Oral gonorrhea transmits sexually due to the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea that affects the throat and mouth after sexual intercourse. Strep throat, on the other hand, happens due to the bacterium Group A Streptococcus and spreads to respiratory droplets.
2. How to test for oral gonorrhea and strep throat?
Specific tests diagnosis helps ascertain your condition. A throat swab helps diagnose strep throat However, you need an oral gonorrhea test to examine Neisseria gonorrhea.
3. Is it possible to spread oral gonorrhea and strep throat by kissing?
While it is less frequent, both oral gonorrhea and strep throat can happen from kissing, particularly if one partner has the infection.
4. Is there any vaccine available for strep throat or oral gonorrhea?
There is currently no vaccination available for strep throat or oral gonorrhea.