sperm and a tooth

Yes, I just went there. People actually want to know—and there are rumors going around—about semen preventing cavities. As in, making a claim that exposure to semen during oral sex is “good” for teeth. There have even been claims that the American Dental Association (ADA) put out a publication that said semen may help prevent tooth decay. That, my dear friends, is completely false. There is no such ADA statement. But now that we’re on the topic, people still want to know: can semen on teeth cause cavities or help prevent them?

Can Semen Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

Depending on what your sexual life is like, you may have concerns about how semen effects your teeth.

Besides sperm, semen contains vitamins like C, B12, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and a half dozen other nutrients. While it’s not necessarily unsafe for teeth, it is by no means something we’d say is “good” for them to the point it benefits your oral health.

More than likely, oral sex is not going to help prevent tooth decay or cavities. It does, however, significantly impact other types of oral infections.

Is Semen Acidic on Teeth?

When we talk about things being bad on teeth, one of the measurements we look at is pH levels. The lower the pH, the worse the acidic damage to teeth. For instance, the pH level of Mountain Dew is about 3.1. Black coffee is somewhere around a 5. Neutral water is about a 7 and alkaline water is closer to 8 or 9.

According to the World Health Organization, semen usually has a pH range of somewhere between 7.2-8. One of the reasons it’s probably higher is because vaginal fluids tend to be more on the acidic side (3.8-4.5) so the sperm in a man’s semen needs more alkaline fluid to stay potent for potential conception. [1]

Semen isn’t acidic on teeth. But vaginal fluid is. So at least now we know it’s not inherently bad for teeth…but is it beneficial?

The Real Risk of Semen on Teeth

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs, also called STDs) are transmitted through bodily fluids like semen and vaginal fluid. And when it comes to your oral health, we have to worry a lot more about STIs than we do whether or not semen impacts tooth decay.

STIs can easily be spread through oral sex practices, regardless of if you’re male or female. And they don’t just affect your nether regions. They can also manifest themselves inside your mouth along your lips, tongue, cheeks, palate, and throat. Unless safe sex practices are used (including during oral sex) there is always a risk of contracting an STI in your mouth. Deep throat kissing is also thought to allow the spread of certain STIs, such as herpes, HPV, and syphilis.

You may not have thought about it, but the same HPV virus that contributes to certain cervical cancers can also cause oral or throat cancer. And oral sex is just one way that those types of viruses can potentially spread from partner to partner. HPV causes cancer in both men and women.

It’s Time to Think the Other Way Around

Even though semen may not help fight against tooth decay, the state of your mouth can directly impact the function and wellness of your reproductive system.

For example, if a man has active periodontal disease, he’s more likely to have a lower sperm count, which can make it difficult to reproduce. But managing his gum health can help boost his reproductive system so that he and his partner have a better chance of conceiving.[2]

We also know that men with chronic periodontitis tend to experience an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) compared to men with healthy mouths.[3]

If men really want to convince their partner that semen is good for dental health, it’s actually more likely to be the other way around. Your dental wellness increases your chances of having a healthier reproductive system. Conception can be delayed if one or both partners have periodontal disease.

If you’re trying to conceive, great oral health isn’t just more attractive, it makes a difference in the bedroom in ways you might not have considered.

Is Sperm Good for Acne & Skin?

Another urban myth is that sperm can fight off an ance outbreak and improve skin. The origin of this claim is unclear, but there are tons of articles and blogs talking about it.

Most people claim spermine, the antioxidant found in sperm, has anti-inflammatory properties to clear up stubborn acne blemishes. [4]

Sperm has over 200 separate proteins and 3% zinc which is fueling the debate.

However, there is no evidence supporting any of these claims.

So, Is sperm good for your teeth?

No, semen doesn’t erode tooth enamel nor does it make it any stronger. Semen on teeth does not help prevent cavities. When we think about oral and sexual health, the biggest takeaways are these: STIs can be spread orally too, increasing your risk of disease or cancer, and poor oral health is shown to lower sperm counts in men, increase ED symptoms, and make it harder for couples to try to conceive. So, if you think semen is good for teeth, try to think about it the other way around—having healthy teeth and gums is proven to benefit your reproductive system.

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