Do I Need an Emergency Dentist? Signs & Symptoms of Oral Infection

Do I Have An Oral Infection?

Oral infection

Attempting to self-diagnose an oral infection can be dangerous. If you suspect that you have a mouth infection, it is recommended you find an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

If the infection is left untreated it could spread and become more serious.

By no means should you attempt to diagnose your condition or take measures to treat yourself.

How to tell if you have a mouth infection?

If you have a mouth infection, a medical professional is best suited to accurately diagnose it. The following symptoms can be good indicators that have a mouth infection:

    • Severe persistent pain in the gums, jaw, or teeth.
    • Fever and chills.
    • Swelling of the face, cheek, or gums.
    • Swollen and tender lymph nodes on the neck.
    • Persistent bad breath.
    • Sensitive teeth
    • Tender or bleeding gums.

If you are experiencing these symptoms see an emergency dentist straight away.

Types of Mouth Infections

The symptoms of a mouth infection can be uncomfortable, painful, or just downright unaesthetic. But if left unattended, the results can be far more severe. A mouth infection can be an indicator of serious disease.

If caught early, treatments for oral infections are often cheaper, safer, and faster. So it is important to find a nearby emergency dentist at the first sign of infection.

Below are the most common types of oral infections. Although this article may help you identify some of your symptoms and potential causes, leave the diagnosis up to a professional. If you are experiencing the symptoms above, visit an emergency dental clinic.

If you have some or all of the symptoms listed above, you could have:

Abscessed Tooth

This painful infection afflicts the root of a tooth or the space between the gum and a tooth. Dental abscesses are most commonly caused by severe or untreated tooth decay. Alternative causes of this mouth infection include sudden dental trauma, gingivitis, and/or gum disease.

Gum Infection

Gum infections are uncommon because their leading cause, gum diseases like gingivitis, are most often identified and treated before developing into a bacterial infection. A gum infection is characterized by soreness of the gums, bleeding gums, and painful chewing.

Oral Thrush

Also known as oropharyngeal candidiasis, oral thrush is a yeast infection which develops inside the oral cavity. It causes white bumps to form on the inside of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, and on the tongue.

Most commonly seen in toddlers and small children, this condition is one of the less serious and more easily treatable oral infections. It poses a more serious threat when afflicting someone with a weakened immune system.

Dental Caries

Tooth decay left untreated leads to an oral infection known as dental caries, one of the most common oral infections. Dental caries is the is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in children under 12 and is attributed to a bacteria known as, “Streptococcus mutans.”


Most people hear of gingivitis as the condition prevented by good oral health care habits. One of the leading causes of gingivitis is bacterial infection - In such cases, bacteria settle into the crevices between a person’s gums as well as the gum line below.

The bacteria linger and produce toxins which cause the gums to become inflamed and swell. Further complications can easily ensue from untreated bacteria in the mouth, complications including more serious infections, pneumonia, and periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease

Usually caused by an advanced state of some other oral affliction (especially gingivitis which spreads below the gums to affect teeth and their supporting tissue), Periodontal disease causes pockets to form around the teeth.

These pockets subsequently cause bone loss and inflammation, loosening the teeth and causing damage to the bone. Symptoms can include inflamed gums and pain and looseness in the teeth.

Canker Sores

Canker Sores take the form of lesions forming on the surface of gums and on other types of tissue in the oral cavity. The dental term for canker sores is “apthous ulcers.” They are most commonly in children and adolescents. The cause for this type of affliction is not alway clear, but stress and hormones as well as sensitivity to certain foods are often attributed as causes. Canker sores will usually heal on their own in 10 - 14 days.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Although only seen in small children and toddlers, the virus “Coxsackie A6,” usually causes this viral affliction. Symptoms include painful blisters on the cheeks and/or tongue. Sores can also appear on other parts of the body including the feet and hands. The virus is not particularly invasive, and usually symptoms go away within three days.


Also afflicting mostly children, this disease is closely associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Herpangina often infects children during the summer and fall, manifesting itself at first as fever, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing.

As the virus becomes more entrenched, blisters form at the back of the mouth. These blisters turn into large ulcers as they rupture.

When Do You Need an Emergency Dentist?

Experiencing any of the symptoms of a mouth infection can be reason enough to contact an emergency dentist. Even a symptom that does not seem serious is worth getting looked at, as these are often the earliest signs, appearing at the most treatable stages where lasting negative effects can be best prevented.

To get an appointment now contact the Toronto emergency dentists at Dr. Judy Sturm & Associates, for experienced, attentive and professional emergency care.

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Toronto Downtown Dentists | Cosmetic Dentistry Toronto | Emergency Dentist Toronto | Toronto Dentist
Dr. Judy Sturm Dentistry Professional Corporation
77 Bloor St West, Suite 1202
Toronto, ON, M5S 1M2
(416) 967-4212

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