“It’s just sore, it will go away.”
“I’m too busy right now, I’ll go to a dentist later.”
“A little sensitivity is no big deal.”
There has been a lot of talk about viral infections lately. In this message, we focus on oral infections.
Your teeth become sensitive to cold liquids. A tooth develops a dull ache. A sore on the gums doesn’t heal up. An injured tooth darkens. A pain starts in your lower sinus area.
This is definitely not one of the conditions where the “ignore it and it will go away” mentality is smart.
The danger of ignoring oral infections
If the pain is the result of an infection, 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.
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.
If an infection is caught and treated early, there may be no additional problems. However, usually the infection is the result of a dental issue that needs to be treated. If the infection is caused by 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 resulting from a pocket of undrained pus called an abscess. Pus is a by-product of the immune system’s efforts to fight 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 addressed—but you need to see your dentist.
See your urgent care dentist if you suspect you have an oral infection. Our office is open when others are closed.