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Oral Infections: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2024

What is the treatment?

Oral infections are of several types and can be caused by both yeast and bacteria. Some of the commonest types of oral infections include but are not limited to are dental caries, gingivitis, periodontal disease, herpangina, oral thrush, canker sores and oral herpes. Since they are a common occurence, they are quite easy to treat too and can be easily cured at home. The most popular method of treating them is maintaining good oral hygiene. Fortunately, this also helps in preventing a recurrence of these oral infections. Apart from maintaining good oral hygiene, patients of oral infections can also resort to other treatment options such as topical application, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which basically mean drugs. Ice compression packs can also be used to bring relief from infections that gives rise to symptoms such as sores. Oral rehdyration therapy is also used to certain infections such as herpangina and has proven to be very effective. Dental caries or cavity is the only infection that requires treatment in the form of a medical procedure such as filling, root canal treatment and tooth extractions.

How is the treatment done?

The process of the treatment depends on the treatment method employed, which in turn depends on the type of oral infection one is suffering from. For example, if its an infection that causes pain and swelling, the patient will have to take painkillers, which can be had orally. The same holds true for antibiotics that are prescribed. Doctors may ask patients to have these medications after meals as having them on any empty stomach can lead to complications. For certain oral infections, topical medication in the form of ointments and gels maybe prescribed. Before using these, patients will have to make sure their mouth is clean. These will be applied manually, i.e. by squirting a small amount onto one's finger and rubbing it on the site of the infection, which can be the form of sores or ulcers. For cool compresses, one simply has to crush a bit of ice and put it in a plastic bag and press it against that side of the mouth which contains the infection. Dental fillings and other process such as root canal and tooth extraction are carried out at the dentist's office. Before carrying out any of these procedures (except filling), the dentist will administer local anesthesia so that discomfort and pain are to a bare minimum. These procedures will be carried out with the help of dental tools and can take half an hour to an hour to complete. Some may even require multiple sessions.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People who suffer from any of the common oral infections such as gingivtis, periodontal disease, oral herpes, dental caries, herpangina, oral thrush and canker sores are eligible for the treatment methods mentioned. However, the treatment method wil be different for each of these diseases.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People with severe tooth decay as well as gum problems or oral cancer will not be eligible for these treatment methods. Moreover, those who are allergic to the medications used might not be considered eligible either, hence, it's best to consult with a dentist.

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Are there any side effects?

While maintaining proper oral hygiene has no side effects, the other treatment processes can present some side effects. NSAIDs or painkillers can cause stomach pain, heartburn, headaches , dizziness, allergic reactions and high blood pressure among others. Antibiotics can cause weakness, nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, bloating, diarhhea and more. The side effects of topical medications for oral infections include allergy, redness, burning sensation etc. The medical procedures used can cause bleeding and infection and sometimes even pain.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

For most of the treatment methods mentioned here, post treatment guidelines are the same. Patients will have to avoid drinking and eating for at least a couple of hours after the treatment (this does not include oral medications of any sort). They should also avoid having foods and beverages that give rise to increased sensitivity.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovering from any of the treatment methods used for oral infections doesn't take very long, and people can expect to be absolutely fine within a couple of days. However, in the case of a tooth extraction, the space left after extraction may heart for a couple of weeks when eating or brushing.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The drugs and topical medications used to treat oral infections are very affordable and come within the price range of Rs. 20 to Rs. 100. As for the procedures, dental filling costs Rs. 500 - Rs. 1500 per tooth, and a root canal treatment costs between Rs. 3000 and Rs. 4,500. Tooth extraction costs around Rs. 50 in government hospitals and up to Rs. 2000 in private ones per tooth.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

All of the treatment methods are quite effective but the results may or not be permanent, depending on the type of treatment method. Most oral infections can take place again if the patient does not maintain proper oral hygiene.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Home remedies such as saline solution gargle, chewing clove, rinsing the mouth with homemade concoctions are very common and generally safe alternatives to medical treatment methods of oral infection. However, before trying them out, patients should consult with their doctor.

References

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Written ByDr. Shivam Malhotra Sleep Medicine(Training),MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,MD - General MedicineGeneral Physician
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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