Doctors Say Most Common Oral Infections Can Be Avoided
We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. When we don’t produce enough saliva, our mouth gets dry and uncomfortable.
Dry mouth is more than just feeling thirsty. It affects your overall health. WebMD looks at the causes and symptoms of dry mouth, plus ways to treat it.
Tonsils and Glands
Your salivary glands produce as much as a quart of saliva each day. Saliva is important to lubricate your mouth, help with swallowing, protect your teeth against bacteria, and aid in the digestion of food.
A salivary gland stone — also called salivary duct stone, salivary calculus, or sialolith — is a calcified structure that may form inside a salivary gland or duct and can block the flow of saliva into the mouth.
Your tonsils are filled with nooks and crannies where bacteria and other materials, including dead cells and mucous, can become trapped. When this occurs, the debris can become concentrated in white formations that occur in the pockets.
Sometimes the tonsils become infected. Overwhelmed by bacteria or viruses, they swell and become inflamed, a condition known as tonsillitis.
A peritonsillar abscess forms in the tissues of the throat next to one of the tonsils. An abscess is a collection of pus that forms near an area of infected skin or other soft tissue.
Canker and Cold Sores
The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown. Stress or tissue injury is thought to be the cause of simple canker sores.
Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a painful infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Thrush can affect anyone, though it occurs most often in babies and toddlers, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Wonder if your painful sore throat is from a cold, strep throat, or tonsillitis? Here’s help with how to tell.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint.
Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
Generally speaking, medicines are designed to make you feel better. But all drugs, whether taken by mouth or injected, come with a risk of side effects, and hundreds of drugs are known to cause mouth (oral) problems.
Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly.