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What is a bacterial oral infection?

Carol Jahn
Dentist

The most common bacterial oral infections are gingivitis and periodontitis.  Dental plaque, also called plaque biofilm, is teeming with bacteria. Some of the bacteria is good and necessary for health. Others are associated with gum disease. The type and the virulence of the bacteria change and multiple the longer they are in the mouth. When the bad bacteria outnumber the good, disease begins - gingivitis and periodontitis. Because of the biofilm nature of the plaque, systemic antibiotics are not a good choice for treating gingivitis and/or periodontitis.  In many cases, a deep cleaning followed by good daily oral hygiene helps clear up the infection and restore gum health. A visit with your dental professional can help determine the right treatment.

A bacterial oral infection is when bacteria invade the oral cavity (mouth) and cause infection (the harmful growth of microorganisms). Most bacteria in the body are harmless or even helpful. However, some do cause disease and produce pathogens in the body that make you sick.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.