When your body gives you warning signs of an oral infection, it's important to pay attention to those symptoms and seek the help of your dentist. Leaving your oral health issues untreated can lead to serious problems with your general health.
Types of Oral Infections
Oral infections can result from poor dental hygiene, oral trauma, or complications from oral surgery. Bacteria, fungi, and yeast can lurk in your mouth and multiply into serious infections.
Common infections include:
- Gingivitis. A mild and very common form of gum disease. This disease is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth that irritates and inflames your gums. Your dentist can provide periodontal therapy to reduce the effects of gingivitis.
- Periodontitis. A more severe form of gum disease. Infection spreads from your gums to the ligaments and bones that support your teeth. This will cause your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
- Thrush. A yeast infection in the mouth is most often seen in infants and the elderly. It stems from a fungus that is present in your mouth most of the time, but it can overgrow when it is thrown off balance by deteriorating health, high doses of antibiotics, and steroid medications.
Warning Signs of Oral Infections
Oral infections develop over time. As the infection spreads in your mouth, it will give you warning signals that your dental health needs some attention. Some of the warning signs you may see for oral infections include:
- Bad breath (halitosis). Sometimes this is hard to recognize yourself. You can ask a trusted friend or partner to tell you if you have it, or you can even smell your dental floss to see if there is an odor after flossing. Bad breath can indicate anything from tooth decay to more severe issues like periodontitis.
- Bleeding or tender gums. If you experience blood on your toothbrush after a gentle brushing or your gums are tender to the touch, but not painful, you likely have gum disease. This can be either gingivitis or periodontitis. Examination by your dentist is the best way to determine which and get a plan for treatment.
- White or velvety sores on your mouth and tongue. This is an indication that you have a yeast infection of the mouth. The sores may be accompanied by redness and discomfort in the mouth and difficulty swallowing. Your dentist can prescribe the right treatment for you to eliminate this infection.
If you are concerned about an oral infection and would like to discuss treatment options with a dentist in Northern Virginia please call Softouch Dental Care at 703-319-6990 right away. Our office is conveniently located in Oakton, and we serve nearby communities including Reston, Fairfax, Vienna, Ashburn and more.