• 08 FEB 22
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    8 common oral infections

    8 common oral infections

    Oral infections are common throughout our lives. Like any part of our body, we can get infections & illnesses that can affect our teeth, gums and tongue. Some infections can pose more serious issues than others. But educating yourself with the knowledge about these mouth infections, causes and typical signs can help you prevent them. Here are 8 common oral infections to look out for. 

    Dental Caries or Cavities
    Dental cavities are holes in your teeth that are formed by tooth decay, and cavities are one of the most common oral infections. Common foods like chips or rice, break down into glucose in your body. So, the more sugar or carbohydrates that you consume throughout the day, the more acid the bacteria produces, which leads to further decay.

    Gingivitis, which is also known as early gum disease, is a mouth infection in the gums that can lead to more serious periodontal disease. Gingivitis is caused when bacteria settles along the gumline, and the bacteria produces toxins. These toxins can cause inflammation and swelling in the gums. Common signs to look out for are bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis can be prevented by removing that bacteria at the gumline and below with flossing and brushing. Gingivitis is also treatable at your dentist’s office.

    Periodontal Disease
    Periodontal disease develops when an oral infection spreads below the gumline to affect the bone and supporting tissues. Gums can begin to recede below the teeth and pockets from which leads to further inflammation and bone loss which loosens teeth. Periodontal disease is the most common cause for tooth loss in adults.

    Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the naturally occurring “Candida albicans.” Medical treatments, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and radiation, can trigger outbreaks. Common symptoms include white, curd-like plaques on the inner cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth, and back of the throat.

    Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
    Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is a viral infection in the mouth and other parts of the body that typically affects toddlers and school-aged children. Typically the infection will disappear within three days. After a couple of days of sore throat and fever you may experience slightly painful ulcers that develop on the inside of your cheeks, on the tongue, palms and soles of the feet.

    Herpangina is an infection in the mouth similar to hand, foot, and mouth disease. Initial symptoms can include fever, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. This is usually followed by small ulcers in the back of the mouth. These can grow into larger ulcers if they burst. Herpangina most frequently affects children aged 3 to 10 years old. Fortunately, herpangina usually lasts from three to five days.

    Canker Sores
    Canker sores, more commonly known as aphthous ulcers. They typically heal by themselves within 10-14 days. While the actual cause is unknown, typical triggers of canker sores include stress, hormones, immunity issues, and food hypersensitivities.

    Oral Herpes
    Oral herpes can cause outbreaks of fluid-filled blisters in the mouth or on the lips that last for a week to 10 days. When the blisters rupture, the scabs last for a few days without pain. This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus. Once infected, the virus will be present in the body permanently. The infection can cause sores that can stay dormant with proper care. Oral herpes outbreaks are contagious, so you should wash your hands regularly and avoid touching the sores.

    While these infections may seem scary, many people get one or the other throughout their lives. Knowing the common signs and symptoms of mouth infections can help you recognize and seek treatment if necessary. If you are still unsure, consult your local Brassall Family Dental Clinic.

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