FAQ’s about Mouth Infections
Mouth infections are common health problems among immune –compromised individuals. But they also appear among healthy individuals and even children. Since the symptoms of mouth infections vary depending on the cause of the illness, it is important to make a correct diagnosis. Here are the most common questions that you may have about them.
What are the common mouth infections?
Most of the common mouth infections affect the teeth, gums, tongue and lips. The tooth is affected because of poor oral hygiene. Foods are trapped in between them and bacteria start to metabolize them leading to tooth decay. Gums become inflamed and they bleed frequently. If the decay is not treated, it leads to infection. Bacteria may also enter from a previous tooth extraction. Thus, it is important that you see you dentist when you see problems in your mouth.
Aside from teeth and gum infection, herpes is another common mouth infection. Herpes is caused by the virus, herpes simplex. It is very common among immune compromised individuals especially HIV patients. Herpes may be quite difficult to distinguish from other infection. The blisters show sores usually in the lips. The base is gray with red borders. This type of mouth infection is very painful and it is highly contagious. It can easily be transferred from one person to another.
Oral thrush is another mouth infection that infects people with weak immune system. Thrush is seen with white patches in the sides or roof of the mouth. The patches look like milk residues in the mouth. When they are scraped, red sores appear which may also bleed. Oral thrush is also found in babies. Newborns are especially susceptible to the mouth infection after passing through an infected birth canal.
What causes mouth infections?
There are different causes of mouth infections. They can be due to bacteria, viruses or fungi. The mouth is most affected because of its accessibility and the conducive environment that it provides to the microorganisms. Since it is one portal of entry in the body, you can easily get the infection through direct contact. Most of the diseases come as a result of a weak immune system. The microorganisms proliferate as a result of the weak defense of the body. This is the reason why patients with pre-existing diseases are mostly affected with mouth infections.
How do you treat mouth infections?
The treatment of mouth infection depends on the severity of the problem and the cause of the disease. If it a bacterial infection, you need to take antibiotics. For fungal infection, anti-fungal drugs help relieve the mouth infection symptoms. What is important is follow the regimen correctly. Otherwise, there is a big possibility that the mouth infection can recur at anytime.
Are there home remedies available?
Home remedies are highly recommended for all those who want to get an effective but cheap treatment for mouth infections. Instead of always relying on drugs, you can go straight to your kitchen and find relief there. For common tooth decay, you can use minced garlic in the affected area to reduce the swelling and kill the bacteria. Garlic has natural antibacterial properties which make it good for all types of infection. You may also use salt solution as a substitute for your mouthwash. It may give you a painful feeling especially if you have active mouth sores but the solution is effective in reducing the days of your infection.
As for oral thrush, the use of yogurt greatly reduces the symptoms of the mouth infections. Yogurt has live good bacteria that will keep the symptoms of thrush down. Take yogurt as your regular snack instead of some high sugar foods.
How do you prevent the mouth infections from recurring?
Like what you doctor tells you, prevention is always better than cure. One of the most important methods to keep you healthy is to maintain a clean mouth. Brushing at least twice a day, using dental floss and using mouthwash should always be a part of your regular routine.
As much as possible, you must also eat a healthy diet and avoid snacking on sweet foods. Both tooth decay and oral thrush are very common among people who love high sugar foods. Both fungi and bacteria metabolize the sugar for their nutrition and growth. If you keep on giving them the nutrients, they will continue to live in your oral cavity.
If you are wearing dentures, always keep them clean. Microorganisms love to thrive in them. Use a solution accepted by your dentists and hygienists. You must also undergo regular cleaning to ensure the health of your oral cavity.
For blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus, you need to avoid contact with people who have it. Herpes easily moves via saliva and skin to skin contact. Refrain from kissing a person with herpes if you want to avoid the mouth infections.
What are the side effects of mouth infections?
Mouth infections rarely lead to severe complications. The most common side effect that patients encounter includes decreased in appetite, difficulty in talking and swallowing and some discomforts. The painful symptoms are sufficient for a patient to seek help during this time.
For infants, the sores lead to their irritability when feeding. If you see this, you have to see your pediatrician right away. A delay in your action leads to dehydration and it may risk the life of your baby.
In very rare cases, mouth infections enter the systemic circulation. The microorganisms lead to generalized infection that can affect the overall well being of the person.
What should you do if you see any of the symptoms of mouth infections?
You do not have to manifest all the symptoms of mouth infection. In fact, many of the patients do not exhibit all of them. If you see even just one sign of the infection in your mouth, you must see your doctor right away. Avoid doing self-medication. It might only worsen your mouth infections.