Yes, your dentist can tell that you had oral sex

oral sex denistry

Dental professionals, when examining your oral health, have a method of finding out if you had oral sex. That is through palate bruising, also known as palatal petechiae. 

Palatal petechiae also referred to as petechiae of the soft palate, can be an intriguing and somewhat complex sign for dental professionals to interpret. It refers to small, round, pinpoint haemorrhages that can be found on the soft palate. 

Here’s a closer look at palatal petechiae as a medical condition, its causes, significance, and what it may mean in a dental context.

@fitlittlehygienist How’d you get that 🧐 #rdh #dentalhumor ♬ Cartoon Eye Blinking Sound – Anna

Understanding Palatal Petechiae

Petechiae are tiny, round spots that appear on the skin or mucous membranes due to minor bleeding from broken capillary blood vessels. When these appear on the soft palate, they are known as palatal petechiae. They can look like reddish or purplish discolourations and may be associated with various medical and physical activities. Palatal petechiae are a relatively common observation in medical and dental practice, although their prevalence can vary widely based on the underlying cause.

Causes of Palatal Petechiae

Palatal petechiae can have various causes, including:

  1. Infections: Some viral and bacterial infections like streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) or mononucleosis can lead to palatal petechiae.
  2. Trauma: Physical trauma, including vigorous coughing, vomiting, or activities like oral sex, can cause these small haemorrhages. The repeated friction or pressure on the soft palate leads to the rupture of small capillaries.
  3. Medical Conditions: Certain systemic conditions that affect blood clotting can also lead to petechiae. These include disorders such as thrombocytopenia or certain types of leukaemia.
  4. Medication Side Effects: Some medications that affect blood clotting or cause irritation to the mucous membranes may lead to petechiae.

Significance in Dental Examination

Palatal petechiae can be indicative of underlying health issues that may need further examination or treatment.

  • Infection Indicators: If linked to an infection, a referral to a general practitioner for proper care and antibiotics may be necessary.
  • Trauma Assessment: Understanding the cause of the trauma helps the dentist provide guidance on preventing future occurrences and may involve discussing sensitive subjects such as sexual activities.
  • Comprehensive Care: Recognizing systemic or medication-related causes allows dental professionals to take them into account in planning and delivering dental care.

Dentists Can Tell

Therefore, dentists are able to tell through this sign whether an individual had oral sex. A series of videos on TikTok recently brought this trend to public attention. As this video points out, the dentists notices more such cases of palatal petechiae after Valentine’s day.

@dropoutjoeDENTISTS CAN ALWAYS TELL 🍆😭😭♬ Banana (feat. Shaggy) [DJ FLe – Minisiren Remix] – Conkarah


Palatal petechiae, while a seemingly minor observation, can open the door to a broader understanding of a patient’s overall health and lifestyle. By recognizing and addressing this condition, dental professionals can play an integral role in a patient’s comprehensive healthcare journey. It could be linked to an infection, trauma from activities like oral sex, or other underlying conditions. Regardless, these small spots on the soft palate can be significant in offering insights and guiding overall health care.

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