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Oral Infections

A Guide to Oral Infections

The majority of oral infections originate due to a problem with the teeth and gums, causing a number of problems for individuals who are concerned about the appearance of their smile.

Pearly whites that become decayed or partly impacted from the tissue as a result of a lack of care are more likely to collect food under the surface, which is difficult to remove during an everyday hygiene routine.

Infections are able to develop when this problem is left untreated, ultimately resulting in the development of an abscess. This problem can be extremely serious if it grows around a wisdom tooth, moving down through the neck and into the chest – something that can eventually be fatal.

Gum infections usually occur when the tissue – which keeps teeth firmly held in place – recedes and deep products have developed around the teeth, allowing bacteria to grow or if an abscess to form.

How is the problem caused?

In the majority of cases, oral infections are caused by a build-up of harmful substances, viruses or fungal growth. They can also develop when an individual is run down or in a weakened state due to a struggling immune system, for example, during a chronic illness.

The problem can also be common among those people who suffer from diabetes or take steroids and antibiotics for a long period of time.

Candida – which is widely called oral thrush – also develops from long-term use of particular kinds of medication.

Common types of viral infection usually occur in the form of mouth ulcers and emerge when patients are stressed or run down, while cold sores – caused by the herpes virus – occur commonly around the mouth. However, some people are simple naturally prone to this issue.

Are there any symptoms?

Usually, the symptoms of an oral infection vary considerably among patients, but the most common signs are usually gingivitis – or sore gums – as well as swollen glands in the neck, which can make it difficult to swallow.

How can the problem be treated?

Individuals who are worried they are displaying the early stages of an infection should seek advice from a dental professional as soon as possible.

Depending on the severity of the ailment, the practitioner may prescribe a course of antibiotics or – in cases when an abscess has formed – a patient should be referred to a specialist oral surgeon, where a procedure requiring anaesthetic may be needed.

In addition, members of the public can purchase over-the-counter medication and mouthwashes from their dentist for fungal infections or mouth ulcers.

How can I prevent oral infections?

  • Consume a healthy diet that is rich in nutritious fruit and vegetables, while also avoiding snacking between meals, as this can risk food lodging in cavities
  • Keep teeth and gums healthy by brushing and flossing twice every day and using an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Clean dentures thoroughly to avoid infections forming beneath teeth
  • Attend regular check-ups with a dentist and hygienist, as the risk of problems will fall significantly as a result of professional cleaning.

Pearl Dental Clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0208 547 9997 or emailing us or booking an appointment online

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