There has been a lot of talk about viral infections lately. In this message from Stephen Ratcliff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Arlington, we focus on oral infections.
There are many causes of oral infections. In children, they are usually caused by tooth decay.
The teeth become sensitive to cold beverages. A tooth develops a dull ache. The child may have difficulty describing where the pain is coming from.
A sore on the gums doesn’t heal. An injured tooth darkens. Pain starts in the lower sinus area.
This is definitely not one of the circumstances where the “ignore it and it will go away” mentality is smart.
The dangers of ignoring oral infections
There are perilous consequences of postponing treatment. Oral infections can destroy teeth, gums and jawbone and even lead to life-threatening sepsis.
In centuries past, tooth decay-related infection was a leading cause of death.
Possible symptoms of an oral infection
An oral infection doesn’t always lead to pain. Bad breath, fever, swelling in the gums, glands or jaw, or a strange taste in the mouth can indicate the presence of an infection.
Treat oral infections early
If an infection is caught and treated early, there may be no additional issues. However, usually the infection is the result of a dental issue that needs to be treated. If the infection is caused by tooth decay, the decay will have to be removed and the tooth filled. If the decay has penetrated to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be required.
The infection may be caused by a pocket of undrained pus called an abscess. Pus is a by-product of the immune system’s efforts to combat infection and consists of dead white blood cells.
Mouth sores have various causes including an infection or virus. White patches in the mouth can indicate thrush (an oral yeast infection). All of these conditions can be taken care of—but you need to see your dentist.
At Stephen Ratcliff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Arlington we offer general and restorative dentistry. Patients from Mansfield and Grand Prairie trust us with their dental health. Call to schedule an appointment today!
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