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Posted 05/27/2021 in Category 1 by Amelia Grant

6 Mouth Infections You Should Be Aware Of


6 Mouth Infections You Should Be Aware Of

You may get infections that can affect any part of your body, including your teeth, gum tissue, and tongue. Some mouth infections are more serious than others. Gaining more knowledge about these common oral infections, their culprits, and common symptoms can help you treat and prevent them.

Continue reading to learn about the six most common oral infections, their signs and causes, and when to seek medical attention.  


1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness, and inflammation in your gums. It leads to severe periodontitis if left untreated. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria accumulates in your gum tissue and starts to create toxins. This form of gum disease can make your gums more sensitive, causing them to bleed when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis can be easily treated with a professional dental cleaning. To prevent this infection from recurring, make sure to practice proper oral care that involves brushing and flossing your teeth at least two times a day.


2.  Periodontitis

Consider gingivitis a wake-up call to start paying closer attention to the condition of your teeth and gums as it can develop into advanced periodontitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 50% of Americans aged 30 and more have experienced periodontitis at some point in their life. Periodontitis occurs when a mouth infection affects your jawbone and oral tissues. It can cause your gums to pull away from teeth and form small pockets filled with bacteria. Periodontal pockets can result in severe inflammation and bone deterioration, eventually causing your teeth to loosen. In severe cases, periodontitis can destroy the bone that supports your teeth, leading to tooth loss. 


3. Cavities

Cavities are decayed parts of your teeth that develop small holes and openings. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, cavities can lead to tooth loss in both adults and children. Cavities allow dangerous bacteria to get into the inner structure of your tooth. These bacteria start to eat away your tooth’s center, eventually making it impossible to recover your tooth and putting you at risk of life-threatening complications. You can develop cavities due to poor dental hygiene, clingy foods and beverages, acid reflux, and eating disorders. Sugary foods and drinks like juices, chocolate, canned fruits, and flavored coffees can increase the number of toxins produced by bacteria, improving your chances of developing cavities.  


4. Thrush

Oral thrush develops when pathogenic yeast called candida albicans builds up on the lining of your mouth. Oral thrush typically appears as white lesions on your tongue. It causes redness, burning, soreness, and loss of taste. Certain medical treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and antibiotics, can cause the onset of thrush. Other common causes include a weak immune system, diabetes, and vaginal yeast infections. If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, you’re also at increased risk of developing oral thrush. 


5. Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a contagious mouth infection caused by coxsackievirus. According to the University of Chicago, this condition is prevalent in babies and older children. Within 6 days after getting infected you’ll start to experience sore throat, fever, and headaches. Then, painful red blisters will start to develop in your mouth, and a rash will form on the hands and feet. Luckily, these symptoms are short-term and typically subside within 3 days.   


6. Herpangina

Herpangina is often associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease. It usually leads to sore throat, fever, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms are typically accompanied by tiny blisters at the back of your throat and mouth. Herpangina often occurs in children aged 3 to 10 during the summer and fall seasons. Most cases of herpangina typically last from 3 to 5 days.