Some of the most diverse and gigantic flora of the entire human body is present in the oral cavity which serves as the entrance for 2 vital systems to human function and physiology, the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Many diseases that involve these two systems establishes in oral cavity. A specific pathological condition periodontitis may also be present in oral cavity.
Foci of infection that has the potential to affect many other vital systems like cardiovascular and renal systems can be affected by such specific infections. A sub-acute bacterial endocarditis and glomerulonephritis may result from the chronic periodontitis which is raised from the foci of infections in oral cavity. The oral infections can affect the teeth, palate, gums, tongue, lips and inside of the cheeks.
Apart from the bacterial organisms, oral infections can also be caused by fungal, protozoal and viral species. Most of the oral infections are not contagious as the bacteria that normally exist in the person’s mouth cause them. Although, herpangia and recurrent herpes labialis are contagious and normally spreads when the fluid of the infected person’s mouth and the nose is contacted.
What causes oral or mouth infection?
Several and diverse microorganisms present in the microenvironment of the oral cavity adhere to the teeth, the tongue, the gingival sulcus and the buccal mucosa. The organisms to establish their residency, each site has a unique way of permitting. In healthy individuals, the similar pattern will be maintained by the normal flora. Atypical organisms begin to predominate when there is an alternation in the local or systemic process or concomitant use of medications alters the overall pattern. This also makes the normal organisms like candida albicans having a benign nature to turn pathogenic.
What are the common oral infections?
- Dental caries
- Canker sores
- Periodontal disease
- Oral herpes
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
Findings of particular concern are
- Swelling or tenderness of floor of the mouth
- Sore throat
- Blisters/ ulcers inside mouth
How to prevent oral infections?
Visiting dentist regularly (every 6 months) for check up
Taking good care of mouth and teeth, brushing teeth twice daily
Frequent hand washing
Avoiding exposure to people who are sick whenever possible
The simple way to help prevent oral infections is to follow dental hygiene practices. However, dentist intervention is required for the appropriate treatment of the oral infection.
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