There are various types of infections that occur in the mouth. The most common types of infection are caused by bacteria. One may also experience viral infections, or fungal infections.
Infections occur when bacteria has invaded areas it doesn’t belong. This can occur when a cavity goes deep into the tooth and the bacteria infects the pulp and surrounding bone. Bacteria may invade the gum and surrounding bone due to gum disease. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes may allow infection to spread faster.
Oral infections have the potential to spread upwards toward the brain, or downwards towards the throat, or chest. If an infection starts, it is important to manage it quickly, and aggressively. Signs to look for are pain, tenderness to touching the gum or tooth, pus draining, bad taste of the mouth, a fever, the area may be warm to touch.
One of the questions we are frequently asked is “Won’t the antibiotic cure the problem?” The treatment for infections will require definitive treatment such as root canal, deep cleaning of the gums, or extraction to address the source of the infection. Antibiotics may be administered as part of the care, however antibiotics alone will seldom cure the source of the oral infection.
At East Madison Dental, our goal is to optimize your overall health. We believe in being proactive to minimize the harm and risk of infections.