<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Oral infections

As noted earlier, normal oral microbiota can cause dental and periodontal infections. However, there are number of other infections that can manifest in the oral cavity when other microbes are present.

Herpetic gingivostomatitis

As described in Viral Infections of the Skin and Eyes , infections by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) frequently manifest as oral herpes , also called acute herpes labialis and characterized by cold sores on the lips, mouth, or gums. HSV-1 can also cause acute herpetic gingivostomatitis , a condition that results in ulcers of the mucous membranes inside the mouth ( [link] ). Herpetic gingivostomatitis is normally self-limiting except in immunocompromised patients. Like oral herpes, the infection is generally diagnosed through clinical examination, but cultures or biopsies may be obtained if other signs or symptoms suggest the possibility of a different causative agent. If treatment is needed, mouthwashes or antiviral medications such as acyclovir , famciclovir , or valacyclovir may be used.

a) photo of a cold sore (red bump) on the lip. B) bumps are present in the back of a person's mouth.
(a) This cold sore is caused by infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). (b) HSV-1 can also cause acute herpetic gingivostomatitis. (credit b: modification of work by Klaus D. Peter)

Oral thrush

The yeast Candida is part of the normal human microbiota, but overgrowths, especially of Candida albicans , can lead to infections in several parts of the body. When Candida infection develops in the oral cavity, it is called oral thrush . Oral thrush is most common in infants because they do not yet have well developed immune systems and have not acquired the robust normal microbiota that keeps Candida in check in adults. Oral thrush is also common in immunodeficient patients and is a common infection in patients with AIDS.

Oral thrush is characterized by the appearance of white patches and pseudomembranes in the mouth ( [link] ) and can be associated with bleeding. The infection may be treated topically with nystatin or clotrimazole oral suspensions, although systemic treatment is sometimes needed. In serious cases, systemic azoles such as fluconazole or itraconazole (for strains resistant to fluconazole), may be used. Amphotericin B can also be used if the infection is severe or if the Candida species is azole-resistant.

Photo of white lumpy patches in the mouth.
Overgrowth of Candida in the mouth is called thrush. It often appears as white patches. (credit: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Mumps

The viral disease mumps is an infection of the parotid glands, the largest of the three pairs of salivary glands ( [link] ). The causative agent is mumps virus (MuV), a paramyxovirus with an envelope that has hemagglutinin and neuraminidase spikes. A fusion protein located on the surface of the envelope helps to fuse the viral envelope to the host cell plasma membrane.

Mumps virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets or through contact with contaminated saliva, making it quite contagious so that it can lead easily to epidemics. It causes fever, muscle pain, headache, pain with chewing, loss of appetite, fatigue, and weakness. There is swelling of the salivary glands and associated pain ( [link] ). The virus can enter the bloodstream ( viremia ), allowing it to spread to the organs and the central nervous system. The infection ranges from subclinical cases to cases with serious complications, such as encephalitis , meningitis , and deafness. Inflammation of the pancreas, testes, ovaries, and breasts may also occur and cause permanent damage to those organs; despite these complications, a mumps infection rarely cause sterility.

Mumps can be recognized based on clinical signs and symptoms, and a diagnosis can be confirmed with laboratory testing. The virus can be identified using culture or molecular techniques such as RT-PCR. Serologic tests are also available, especially enzyme immunoassays that detect antibodies. There is no specific treatment for mumps, so supportive therapies are used. The most effective way to avoid infection is through vaccination. Although mumps used to be a common childhood disease, it is now rare in the United States due to vaccination with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Photo of child with a very large swelling on one side of the neck.
This child shows the characteristic parotid swelling associated with mumps. (credit: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Compare and contrast the signs and symptoms of herpetic gingivostomatitis, oral thrush, and mumps.

Oral infections

Infections of the mouth and oral cavity can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Many of these infections only affect the mouth, but some can spread and become systemic infections. [link] summarizes the main characteristics of common oral infections.

Table titled: Oral Infections. Columns: Disease, Pathogen, Signs and Symptoms, Transmission, Diagnostic Tests, Antimicrobial Drugs. Dental caries; Streptococcus mutans; Discoloration, softening, cavities in teeth; Non-transmissible; caused by bacteria of the normal oral microbiota; Visual examinations, X-rays Oral antiseptics (e.g., Listerine). Gingivitis and periodontitis; Porphyromonas, Streptococcus, Actinomyces; Inflammation and erosion of gums, bleeding, halitosis; erosion of cementum leading to tooth loss in advanced infections; Non-transmissible; caused by bacteria of the normal oral microbiota; Visual examination, X-rays, measuring pockets in gums; Tetracycline, doxycycline, macrolides or beta-lactams. Mixture of antibiotics may be given. Herpetic gingivostomatitis; Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1); Lesions in mucous membranes of mouth Contact with saliva or lesions of an infected person Culture or biopsy; Acyclovir, famcyclovir, valacyclovir. Mumps; Mumps virus (a paramyxovirus); Swelling of parotid glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, pain while chewing; in serious cases, encephalitis, meningitis, and inflammation of testes, ovaries, and breasts; Contact with saliva or respiratory droplets of an infected person; Virus culture or serologic tests for antibodies, enzyme immunoassay, RT-PCR; None for treatment; MMR vaccine for prevention. Oral thrush; Candida albicans, other Candida spp.;  White patches and pseudomembranes in mouth, may cause bleeding; Nontransmissible; caused by overgrowth of Candida spp. in the normal oral microbiota; primarily affects infants and the immunocompromised. Microscopic analysis of oral samples; Clotrimazole, nystatin, fluconazole, or itraconazole; amphotericin B in severe cases. Trench mouth (acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis); Prevotella intermedia Fusobacterium species, Treponema vincentii, others; Erosion of gums, ulcers, substantial pain with chewing, halitosis; Nontransmissible; caused by members of the normal oral microbiota; Visual examinations, X-rays; Amoxicillin, amoxicillin clavulanate, clindamycin, or doxycycline.

Key concepts and summary

  • Dental caries , tartar , and gingivitis are caused by overgrowth of oral bacteria, usually Streptococcus and Actinomyces species, as a result of insufficient dental hygiene.
  • Gingivitis can worsen, allowing Porphyromonas , Streptococcus , and Actinomyces species to spread and cause periodontitis . When Prevotella intermedia , Fusobacterium species, and Treponema vicentii are involved, it can lead to acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis .
  • The herpes simplex virus type 1 can cause lesions of the mouth and throat called herpetic gingivostomatitis.
  • Other infections of the mouth include oral thrush , a fungal infection caused by overgrowth of Candida yeast, and mumps , a viral infection of the salivary glands caused by the mumps virus, a paramyxovirus.

Fill in the blank

When plaque becomes heavy and hardened, it is called dental calculus or _________.

tartar

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Short answer

Why do sugary foods promote dental caries?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

what a tropism in host
Khaliil Reply
HPV vaccine given to school children
Jayani Reply
Differentiation between electron, proton and neutron
Zainab Reply
proton .possitive charge electron . negative charge neutron . having no charge
Kifayat
proton positive charge. electron negative charge. And no charge of the neutron.
Saman
the nucleus is composed of electrons (-) charge and they turn around the Nucleon the Nucleon = neutron(no charge) + proton (+) a neutron can turn to a proton and vice versa (cuz they have the same mass=1)
BENNINI
what are the roles of microorganisms in human being
Buhari Reply
some causes disease, others are not disease causing
Clark
they're necessary in our digestive system+the skin,everywhere actually the number of them in the human body alone is higher(by millions)than the number of humans cells,they're indispensable in the food industry,others are fundamental to make medicines and more,what exactly are you asking about ?
BENNINI
What are the natural occurring elements found in organisms on earth?
Otu Reply
some of the naturally occurring elements found in organisms are carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen
Yashi
thanks
Mariam
some of them are carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, phosphorus and sulfur
Jamal
what is Zika virus?
Somali Reply
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. 
Cumar
in pregnancy it can cause the unborn child's head to underdevelop so that it does not grow along with the rest of the body
Bethany
intracellular vesicles are found in
Akshay Reply
how do i report widal slide results
Isaac Reply
how food can be used as a substrate for the growth of microorganisms
Ashi Reply
what is the importance of understanding chemistry in the field of microbiology and food technology?
Charmaine Reply
What is different between eukaryotes and prokcaryotic
Abia Reply
main difference is that eukaryotic cells possess membrane bound organelles
Iqra
prokaryotes are primitive organisms that doesn't contain membrane bound nucleus or any orgenelle while in eukaryotes membrane bound orgenelles and nucleus is present
Yashi
what s anatomy
jane Reply
its mean body structure, function, and systems
gazi
study of internal structure of living things
Falere
anatomy is the study structure of the made human
isir
anotomy is the actual study of body internally and externally Which include how itis made. for what and what is need of this
Iqra
la science anatomie c'est la science qui nous aide à étudier l'homme
Baraka
okay
Baraka
Ancestor are they real
Rapheal Reply
yes of course
David
yes please
Clark
50 50, depending on the accuracy of the clan records.
Vincent
okay
Baraka
Why protist is not a kingdom of Linnaeus 'S taxonomy?
Neha Reply
I dont know
Jeewraj
Linnaeus used Aristotle's criteria for dividing living organisms into kingdoms. Plants are immobile and insensitive, while animals are mobile and sensitive. the creatures he saw through the microscope were mobile, so he attributed them to animals.
Lad
name the different types of media use in lab to detect the micro organisms
Shehzadi Reply
The different types of media used in the lab to detect the microorganisms is known as cell culture..
Tean
solid media or broth is used to grow and detect microorganisms
Pohor
what is microbiology
Baraka
the study of large living organisms
Pratibha
the study of organisms which are micro in range
Vency
what is autoclaving?
Yashi
process for sterilization
Vency
is a machine used on the process of sterilisation
Clark
what is difference between hot air oven and autoclave as they both are used for sterilization ?
Vency
autoclave basically do moist heat sterilization while hot air oven do sterilization by dry heat.....
Yashi
what is the microbe
HUSSAIN
which method out of these two is best?
Yashi
why human have microbe
HUSSAIN
Hi
Sadam
hi to all
Sadam
depends on what to sterilize
Vency
microbes
Md
what is knowledge
HUSSAIN
well idea
Daniel
Practice MCQ 4

Get the best Microbiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask