Gum infections and wintertime
The weather is starting to get cooler now, after our scorching summer recently! As it does, people get sick more easily and I see a lot more gum abscesses (infections) during winter.
Infections of the mouth are most commonly bacterial. Viral and fungal infections also occur in the mouth. Gum abscesses are mainly bacterial. The signs and symptoms can be:
- Painful to chewing
- Bad taste & breath
- Loose tooth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bleeding gums
- Limited mouth opening
If you have regular scaling performed on your teeth and brush your teeth well, you are unlikely to develop a gum infection. Gum infections are common in people who do not visit the dentist regularly and develop large pieces of tartar buildup deep within the gum. Plaque, which is basically a city of bacteria, gets trapped underneath the tartar and causes the infection.
During winter, your immune system is often weaker or busy fighting other diseases. This allows the bacteria in your gums to grow uncontrollably, which causes the infection.
The best way to treat a gum infection is to see your dentist and have your teeth scaled. If it is severe, antibiotics may be prescribed. It will also be painful to brush and you will probably want to avoid the area, but BRUSH IT EVEN BETTER! Brushing will help in removing the bacteria. Mouthrinse may also help but regular daily use of it is not beneficial.
Sometimes, it is better to have a tooth removed if there is a poor prognosis.