Your mouth is one of the most important parts of your body. It has a number of functions that aid in the eating, breathing, and digestion processes. That is why if you are experiencing issues with your mouth, it is crucial that you see your dentist right away.
Oral infections are not uncommon, and most times can be treated with simple at-home remedies. They are most common in young children and older adults who have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to infections. Many oral infections can be avoided by maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine. However, other infections may require the intervention of a dentist who can provide your professional treatments. Below, we list some of the most common oral infections.
Gingivitis is caused by the bad bacteria in your mouth. It is the beginning of gum disease when bacteria settles into your gum line, producing toxin in your mouth. Gingivitis will cause your gums to be inflamed, and swollen, which may result in bleeding when brushing. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease.
When gingivitis is not treated, it worsens and becomes a periodontal disease. With periodontal disease the bad bacteria spreads below your gum line, and affects the bone and supportive tissue in your mouth. This can result in severe inflammation and bone loss, which can cause your teeth to loosen and fall out.
Research shows that between 50%-80% of adults are carriers of the herpes simplex virus. Oral herpes can cause symptoms like blisters on the tongues, but, sometimes, can lie dormant and have no symptoms at all. With medical intervention, the infection can stay inactive, but once you are infected, the virus will always be in your body. Outbreaks can last anywhere from one week to two weeks. Children that are carriers of the simplex virus will occasionally have swollen gums with small blisters, and may have high fevers or feel fatigued. Flare-ups are usually caused by stress or exposure to sunlight.
Herpangina is similar to the hand, foot and mouth disease and is the most common in children from ages three to ten. The infection can last anywhere from three to five days and causes blisters to form in the back of the mouth.
Canker sores are small lesions that form on the gum line or the soft tissue in your mouth. They are not contagious, but can make eating and swallowing difficult. You can expect them to clear up within a week.