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How do you define an oral infection? This condition can become serious, so it is helpful to know how to treat it and understand more about the symptoms.

Signs You Have an Oral Infection

An oral infection can develop anywhere in the mouth – the gums (periodontal area), lips, cheeks, palate, tongue, or in-between or beneath the teeth. To prevent an infection from occurring, it is crucial to pay close attention to your dental health and brush twice a day, and floss once daily. When an infection sets in below a tooth, it can be caused by decay or a cracked or broken tooth. Therefore, these events often cause a tooth to become infected. Because the tooth’s pulp contains large nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, the infection can result in a good deal of pain. Moreover, the infected tooth usually forms an abscess or a pocket of pus, damaging the bone and tissue. This can lead to some troubling symptoms, as a deadly response to this type of infection is sepsis.

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis or septic shock can be triggered by an infection anywhere in the body. Therefore, it can be caused by oral infection, the flu, pneumonia, or a urinary tract infection. According to the Sepsis Alliance, about one-third of people worldwide die from sepsis annually. Therefore, having an oral infection is not something to take lightly. Signs of an oral infection include bad breath (halitosis), a bitter taste in the mouth, pain, fever, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, gum swelling, swelling of the glands in the neck, or a swollen jaw.

If you believe you have an oral infection, you need to contact us immediately, especially if the tooth is severely damaged. Doing so will prevent dangerous complications. While you wait to see us, we usually recommend that you rinse with saltwater and suggest an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to alleviate any discomfort or pain. We often prescribe an antibiotic as well. Oral infections can lead to life-threatening events. Do not allow an infection to get out of control. Call us as soon as you suspect that something is not right.

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