Eight common oral infections and how to prevent them

Oral infections can affect both children and adults. Fortunately, most oral diseases are completely preventable with good oral hygiene. Oral infections are often caused by bacteria buildup which can lead to viruses, tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. The most common oral infections include:

  • Dental Caries- Dental caries, or tooth decay or cavities, are the most common dental infection to affect children and adults. Dental caries is caused by sugar-rich foods and is often reversible if immediately diagnosed and treated. Carries are caused by bacteria that turn sugar and carbohydrates into acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and dentin. The enamel erodes and creates a pit that gets bigger over time.
  • Gingivitis- Gingivitis is caused by a wide variety of bacteria. Bacteria from dental plaque can settle into your gum line and gum crevices and cause gingivitis. A sign of gingivitis is when you brush your teeth, and your gums begin to bleed. Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease; therefore, it is crucial to reverse the gingivitis as soon as you notice symptoms so that the gingivitis does not spread and develop into periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal Diseases- Periodontal diseases often come in three stages, gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. The bacteria from gingivitis often cause periodontitis have spread below your gum line to severely affect your gums. If left untreated, this disease can destroy the structures that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss.
  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease- This disease is most common in toddlers and children. Symptoms include painful blisters in the mouth, on the palms of the hand, or the soles of the feet. Although this disease spreads quickly, it is often short-lived.
  • Herpangina- Herpangina is a disease related to hand, food, and mouth disease that affects children during the summer. The symptoms are similar and also include tiny blisters in the back of the mouth that can form larger ulcers when they rupture.
  • Canker Sores- Canker sores are cuts and tears and form on the gums or other mouth tissues. While the cause is unclear, the sores typically heal within two weeks.

Oral diseases are often preventable with proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing, and scheduling regular dentist appointments for a professional cleaning. However, if you are experiencing oral pain or discomfort, contact Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram today to make an appointment to discuss immediate treatment. Seeking attention from an experienced and knowledgeable dentist early on is vital to prevent an infection from spreading or developing into a more severe issue. Call us at (718) 260-6175 to schedule an appointment and make sure your teeth and gums are happy and healthy!