Affecting any part of the oral cavity, infections caused by bacteria in the mouth can lead to viruses, tooth decay, gum disease, or more serious health issues in children and adults. While some individuals develop sores in the mouth, some will not have any visible manifestations of infection. Thus, regular dental checkups are vital to the prevention and diagnosis of oral infections.
Some of the more common oral infections are discussed here:
- Dental Caries: Better known as "cavities," dental caries are the result of tooth decay. For children 12 and under, caries are the leading cause of tooth loss.
- Gingivitis (early gum disease): When bacteria settle into the crevices along the gum line, toxins develop, leading to puffy, inflamed tissues. Often, gums will bleed during brushing.
- Periodontal Disease (advanced Gingivitis): When bacteria from Gingivitis spread beneath the gum line, reaching the supporting tissues and bones, periodontal disease begins. Pockets will likely form around teeth. Teeth will become loose.
- Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: This infection consists of blisters along the cheeks and tongue, and can be on the palms of hands, soles, and bottom. This disease is more prevalent in toddlers and school-age children, and will likely disappear within 3 days.
- Herpangina: This viral infection results in blisters at the back of the mouth, which will turn to ulcers when they rupture. Herpangina is more common in adolescents aged 3-10.
Thrush: This infection appears as white, curd-like plaque on the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth.
- Canker Sores: Possibly related to stress, hormones, or immune issues, these sores are lesions or ulcers along the gums and other soft tissues in the oral cavity. Children and Adolescents developed these sores commonly, and they tend to heal within 10-14 days.
- Oral Herpes: Notably, between 50-60% of American adults are carriers of the herpes simplex virus, which can cause outbreaks ranging from flu symptoms to blisters and ulcers on the lips and gums.With evidence supporting the connection between oral health and health concerns such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, and cancer, it's important to see your dentist at the earliest sign of infection.
At Grateful Dental, we believe that prevention and early diagnosis are vital to your oral and overall health. With regular examinations, you can be confident that our staff will check for signs of infection, as well as tooth decay and disease. Do not wait until your condition worsens. Call us today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Leia Porcaro
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Marietta, GA 30067