Common Oral Infections and How They Are Treated

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The mouth is home to many different forms of bacteria, and if left unchecked, these bacteria can cause lots of problems for your teeth, gums, and general oral health.

Cavities

Just about every person is familiar with cavities, which are also known as dental caries. These infections are the result of progressive tooth decay that affects many adults as well as children. Cavities typically form between the teeth, or in the grooves of the teeth where it can be difficult to brush away bacteria left behind from food and drinks.

Usually, this bacteria is removed using proper dental hygiene habits. Brushing the teeth twice a day for at least two minutes should take care of any bacteria left by food or drinks consumed throughout the day. If a cavity does occur, Dr. Robinette will be able to fill in the area of eroded tooth enamel to seal the tooth and prevent any further damage.

Gum infection in the patient's mouth

Gingivitis

Bacteria can also affect other areas of the mouth besides the teeth, such as the gums. When infected by bacteria, the gums often swell and become quite tender, which is a condition known as gingivitis. Individuals with gingivitis are likely to experience mild bleeding from the gums when they brush their teeth. It is advised that you continue brushing in order to treat gingivitis, as this condition may worsen if left untreated.

Periodontal Disease

Individuals who have allowed their gingivitis to progress often experience symptoms of periodontal disease, which is a more serious condition that goes below the gums and begins to impair the bone and supportive tissues of the mouth. Problems within these deeper tissues and structures can lead to severe side effects, including tooth loss. For this reason, it is extremely important for individuals to contact Dr. Robinette right away to start interventional treatment for periodontal disease before it leads to such harsh outcomes.

Canker Sores

Another common problem of the mouth are canker sores, which are painful lesions that can develop all around the mouth. The exact cause of these lesions is not clear, though related infections are suspected to trigger them. Added stress, fluctuating hormones, and problems with the immune system can also lead to the formation of one or more canker sores in the mouth. Patients can usually expect their canker sore(s) to clear up on their own after 10-14 days.

Cold Sores

Any person can develop a cold sore, though they are most commonly seen in infants between the ages of 1 and 2 years. Most people will experience a cold sore after contracting the herpes simplex virus from another person. This infection is very common and rarely serious with a majority of patients requiring minimal treatment at home to relieve their discomfort. Medication may be prescribed if the cold sore does not improve or continues to worsen over time.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Often seen in children, hand, foot and mouth disease is a condition that causes painful blisters on the inside of the mouth. This disease is typically the result of a viral infection, which will naturally work its way out of the patient’s system after approximately three days.

Thrush

Thrush is a fungal infection that develops into visible white spots on the tongue, inside the cheeks, and back of the throat. This infection is usually a reactionary result from chemotherapy, radiation, or even simple antibiotics administered to the body. Antifungal medications such as a mouthwash or lozenge can be given to treat those with thrush, who should see their symptoms subside after a couple of weeks.

As always, if you have any further questions, please call Dr. Robinette‘s office at 828-267-0651 today!