What You Need To Know About Oral Infections

While most people know the signs of skin infections, such as swelling and pus buildup, fewer folks understand oral infections, such as gingivitis, cold sores and tonsilloliths. If you are among them, it is time to learn more about your mouth and how to properly care for it. Otherwise, you could end up causing yourself a wide range of undesirable health problems.

How Are Oral Infection Caused?

Infections are generally caused by bacterial and viral colonies, no matter where it is. When these microscopic organisms set up home in your mouth, you need to take steps to squash them quickly. Not only can infections harm your teeth and gums, the other tissues in your mouth are also subject to painful damage if the situation is left untreated. Your tongue, palate, lips and inner cheeks can become swollen and painful to the touch.

Your mouth naturally has bacteria, which is not necessarily going to create painful sores. However, excessive amounts can cause infections. Though some infections clear up on their own, others require treatment to go away.

Additionally, there are some problems that need ongoing treatment. For example, if corrective action is not properly taken then tonsil stones must be regularly removed. Which can become very frustrating over time.

Transmitting From Person to Person

Most oral infections aren’t transmitted from one person to another because the bacteria are already present in everyone’s mouth. However, herpangina and herpes labialis can be transmitted through saliva and nasal fluid. Also important to note is that kissing someone with a lot of bacteria in their mouth will increase the amount in your own. This is just one of the many reasons that a good oral hygiene practice should be a regular part of your day.


More than half of the people in the country have gingivitis, which is simply gum disease. While there are various types of bacteria that can contribute to gingivitis, the end result is essentially the same: infection. When the bacterial colonies settle into the gums, particularly in between and below the tooth line, they begin to emit toxins. The tissues become inflamed in response. Sensitive and bleeding gums are both indicators that you might suffer from gingivitis.

Periodontal disease is the next stage if gingivitis is left untreated. The infection spreads further down, where it can cause further problems. Not only can it damage the tissues surrounding the unseen parts of your teeth, periodontal disease creates damage to your jawbones as well.

Cold Sores

Cold sores, which are sometimes called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. This contagious disease infects the majority of people in the country today, including countless folks who haven’t been officially diagnosed with it. Though it can be controlled with medication and proper lifestyle habits, the virus will never go away. The painful oral blisters can appear anywhere in or around the mouth, and take a week or two to go away.


Thrush is a condition caused by excessive amounts of the fungus candida. Very similar to yeast, the organism thrives in warm, wet areas like the mouth. Babies sometimes contract the condition during childbirth if the mother has high levels of the bacteria in her vaginal canal. Disorders of the immune system can increase susceptibility of infection. It can cause painful cracks and sores in the mouth and lips.


Gingivostomatitis is also caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, which should not be confused with herpes simplex virus type 2 indicated in genital herpes. It is also accompanied by fever, swelling and lesions in the mouth. An ulcer is left when the blister pops, which can make it painful to eat or touch in any way.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is most frequently diagnosed in younger children. The first signs are similar to the common cold and include a sore throat and fever. Unlike the other oral infections listed here, this one causes breakouts on other parts of the body as well. Sores usually appear on the buttocks, palms and soles, hence the name.

Tonsil Stones

Tonsilliths aren’t as common as other oral infections but are still very troubling. They are small collections of calcified food particles, dead cells and other debris that it within the crypts of the tonsils. They are caused from a lack of good oral hygiene and can make it difficult to swallow.

There are many solutions for permanently getting rid of tonsil stones but the best thing you can do is maintain good oral health.


These are some of the most common oral infections that you need to know about. Take good care of your mouth in order to minimize your risk of these painful conditions. Have your teeth cleaned twice a year, and have any necessary work done as quickly as possible to reduce spread. Also, care for your teeth and mouth daily with high-quality oral care products.

Doing so will help to keep your smile looking great for many years to come!