A: Sometimes the body’s immune system will fight and heal infections on its own, but often it needs some help. When it comes to oral infections such as tooth and gum infections, only your dentist can make that call. This is why it is so important to have infections and abscesses examined by a dentist.
Oral infections are a serious health matter. Symptoms include tooth, gum, and jaw pain, lumps or pus-filled abscesses, and weeping or bleeding gums. Left untreated, they can affect your overall health.
Your dentist can diagnose an infection during an oral examination. They will feel your gums, gently tap your teeth, and take x-rays to determine the extent of the infection and whether it has spread.
If your dentist feels the infection is harmful, or your body is not fighting it effectively, they may prescribe antibiotics. Your dentist will also want to treat the underlying cause of an oral infection to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Causes may include tooth decay, periodontal, or gum disease, tooth cracks, and weakened fillings.
Don’t ignore the signs of oral infection. Practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis, and have your mouth and teeth examined by a dentist.