What is an oral infection?
An oral infection is an inflammation of the oral cavity. Oral infections are usually the result of tooth decay in the pulp of the tooth. The pulp of the tooth is a mass of connective tissue that is at the Centre of the tooth directly beneath the dentin. The pulp contains the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues.
Once the pulp and nerves of the tooth become exposed to bacteria, an oral infection occurs.
What causes an oral infection?
The most common causes of oral infection are:
Bacterial Infection -High levels of bacteria in the mouth can cause oral infections. These infections appear as dental abscesses. A dental abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection.
Abscesses can appear on different areas of the tooth. A periapical abscess appears on the tip of the tooth root. A periodontal abscess appears in the gums at the side of the tooth root.
Fungal Infection :
Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth also called oral candidiasis because it is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida.
Symptoms of a bacterial oral infection:
•Bad taste in your mouth
•Sensitivity to hot /cold
•Swollen and inflamed gums
•Swollen neck, jaw
Symptoms of a Fungal oral infection:
•White patches in the mouth
•Sore gums or tongue
•Loss of taste or unpleasant taste
•Difficulty eating or drinking
•Cracked corners of the mouth
•Redness in the mouth
You should never ignore the signs of an oral infection. Oral infections are very serious and should be treated immediately. An untreated oral infection can enter your bloodstream and cause serious health issues such as Sepsis which is life-threatening.
Signs of Sepsis:
•Fast heart rate
•Fever or drop in body temperature
•Shaking or chills
•Dizziness or confusion
•Shortness of breath or hyperventilating
Sepsis requires immediate medical attention!
Common signs you may have an infection:
•Gum or teeth soreness
•Sharp or persistent pain in your mouth
While you may experience these symptoms, it is not necessarily an oral infection. These symptoms can be caused by any number of dental concerns, which is why you need to see your dentist immediately. A comprehensive dental exam will allow your dentist to diagnose and treat the problem before it becomes even more serious. If you do have an infection your dentist will prescribe antibiotics. You must finish all of the antibiotics to ensure the infection has gone.
Preventing Oral Infections:
•Brush twice per day
•Dont brush too hard (this can weaken the tooth enamel)
•Floss at least once per day
•Rince with mouthwash
•Eat a well-balanced diet
•Avoid sugary and acidic. foods and drinks
•Drink plenty of water (this will help to keep your mouth hydrated).
•See your dentist and hygienist regularly
•Dont ignore signs or symptoms of a dental problem
It can not be stated enough that regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings are your first defence against serious dental health issues.
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of an oral infection. Please call us immediately!
At Oshawa Centre Dental Office, we will always make room in our schedule for dental emergencies!
Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only and is in no way intended to diagnose, treat or be a substitute for professional medical or dental advice.