Azarko Dental Group Blog

Early Signs of an Oral Infection

What are the early signs of oral infection? What treatments are recommended for oral infection, and when do we recommend visiting your Edmonton dentists? Find answers to these questions in this post. 

Harmful germs, fungi, viruses and bacteria can multiply and cause oral infections anywhere in or around the mouth. In most cases, poor oral hygiene contributes or leads to these infections.

Plaque continues to develop around the teeth and on the surface of your tongue, increasing the risk of damage to teeth and soft tissues. Similar to many other diseases, mouth infections require care and treatment as soon as possible by a dentist so they don't progress and cause further complications. 

In this post, our Edmonton dentists will list some early signs of an oral infection.

What are common oral infections?

'Oral infection' is an umbrella term for a group of several infections occurring in your mouth. They may be of a dental origin (in your mouth) or a non-dental source (in other soft tissues). Most people will develop at least one cavity in their lifetime, making this the most common oral disease. 

Other common oral infections include:

Cold Sores

Not to be confused with canker sores, the herpes simplex virus causes painful blisters to appear around the mouth. 

Endodontic Disease

Bacteria infects the pulp of the tooth, which can cause pain and necrosis (death) of the tissue. 


Bacteria infects the gums during the early stage of gum disease. 

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease 

Also called thrush or candidiasis, the highly contagious coxsackievirus leads to painful sores around the mouth, along with rashes on the hands and feet. 

Oral Thrush

This fungal infection of the mouth is also known as oral candidosis (or candidiasis) since it's caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. It is not contagious. This oral yeast infection can cause a range of symptoms, from loss of taste and a painful burning sensation in the mouth to white patches (plaques) in the mouth that can often be wiped off. 

Periodontal Disease

The gums become infected with bacteria during the later stages of gum disease

What are mouth infection symptoms?

You may experience different symptoms depending on the oral infection present. Vital infections can cause cluster-like lesions inside or outside the mouth, while bacterial and fungal infections can cause redness or ulcers in your oral cavity. 

Some common symptoms include:

  • Sores in the mouth, lips or gums
  • Recurring bad breath
  • Pain in your teeth, gum or jaw
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods 
  • Sore or bleeding gums 
  • Swelling of the gums, jaw or lymph bodes
  • Loose teeth 
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Difficulty swallowing, biting or chewing 

When should I see my dentist?

If you notice any of the symptoms above or suspect you may have an oral infection, see your dentist as soon as possible. 

Your dentist will note your dental history and perform a thorough clinical exam to determine the cause. Bacterial, fungal or viral infections are typically diagnosed based on their symptoms. 

Depending on the nature of your condition, tests may involve exposure to hot and cold stimuli, an electric pulp test, percussion and dental X-rays. In some instances, a swab test may be needed to test for pathogenic organisms. 

What treatments are recommended for oral infections?

The cause of your infection will determine the best treatment option. Oral surgery will be needed to treat dental abscesses and other tooth-related infections.

A dental filling or crown may then need to be placed. Alternatively, you may require a root canal or, in severe cases, a tooth extraction. 

Generally, viral infections do not need to be treated beyond addressing the symptoms, while the primary infection involved in a bacterial infection will require treatment to alleviate oral symptoms. 

For fungal infections, you may need to apply a topical antifungal ointment or rinse with an antifungal mouthwash. 

Most oral infections have a good prognosis if they are diagnosed and treated early. However, with severe cases, the infection can potentially progress to a level where extracting the problem tooth is the only solution. 

How can I prevent oral infections?

To prevent mouth infections, employ some basic health and oral hygiene practices such as:

  • Maintaining oral hygiene 
  • Brushing twice each day 
  • Flossing 
  • Using antiseptic mouthwashes within the prescribed limit 
  • Avoiding direct contact with an infected person
  • Keeping mouth hydrated 
  • Taking the necessary vitamins and minerals 
  • Not sharing toothbrushes or razors 

Oral Hygiene & Prevention at Azarko Dental Group

Preventive care and hygiene plays an important role in maintaining your gums and teeth and keeping them free of oral infection. 

When you come in for regular exams, your dentist will take the opportunity to identify any oral health issues and create a plan to treat them. These include any oral infections that may be developing. We can also answer any questions you may have about preventive hygiene and taking care of your oral cavity. 

Do you suspect you may have an oral infection? Contact our Edmonton dentists to book an examination. Early treatment and diagnosis are key.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Edmonton? You've come to the right place! We are open 7 Days a Week.

Request Appointment

Request Appointment (780) 483-7079