What Are the Different Types of Oral Infection?

Cold sores can be caused by oral herpes.
Mouthwash helps reduce bacteria in the mouth.
Gingivitis can cause bleeding gums.
Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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An oral infection is one that affects the mouth. These infections can occur inside the mouth, such as with gingivitis, or they could occur outside, as is often seen with herpes simplex. Some oral infections are mild and only require simple treatments. Others, however, can be quite serious and may even require surgery.

Gingivitis is an oral infection that often involves swollen and bleeding gums. The gums may begin to darken and appear purple or black. This infection can lead to serious problems such as tooth decay or abscess of the jaw bones. Gingivitis is generally caused by bacteria that results from the build-up of plaque and tartar. Treatment generally involves professional cleaning of the teeth and the use of antibacterial mouthwash.

Periodontitis is an oral infection that can result when gingivitis is left untreated. This infection can result in the teeth falling out because the structures that support them are too weak. A person with this type of infection is also likely to have bad breath and discolored gums. He may develop one of more abscesses in the gums. Treatment can involve tooth extraction and surgery.

Oral warts can result when a person is infected with papillomavirus. The warts associated with this virus can appear throughout the mouth and even in the throat. This oral infection can be contagious. It is even possible to infect the genitals if oral contact is made.

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Treatment often involves using a laser to burn or freeze the warts. In some cases, they may be cut off. While this may offer comfort or relief, there is still the possibility that warts will return later. This is because there is no cure for this virus.

Herpes simplex is another oral infection that is caused by a virus. Like oral warts, this infection can also be spread to the genitals. Some people carry this infection but never show symptoms. Other people may develop blisters around the outside or inside of the mouth.

Many people who are infected with oral herpes and who experience symptoms find that the symptoms tend to get less severe with time. There are medications available for the treatment of these infections, but they only suppress symptoms. They do not eliminate the virus from the body.

Thrush is an oral infection that is caused by yeast. Women are generally the victims of yeast infections that involve the genitals, but anyone, even babies, can suffer from thrush. This infection is often indicated by a pasty, white substance on the tongue or around the mouth. It can be caused by antibiotics or by performing oral sex on someone with a vaginal yeast infection. Antifungal oral rinses are typically sufficient treatment.

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