OraVital - professional treatment for gum disease, bad breath, halitosis, gingivitis, periodontitis
Oral Infection FAQ

Oral Infection FAQ


What do I need to know about oral infection?

Did you know that gingivitis and periodontitis are oral infections that affect 75% of the adult population? You may not be aware that these infections can affect your overall health! Click here to learn more about oral infection.

Is oral infection contagious?

Oral infection can be passed from one person to another through contact such as kissing, by sharing food or drinking from the same glass or cup. Bacteria from the mother can be passed on to the young child by wetting the pacifier with saliva and by hugging and kissing. Whether the bacteria takes hold in the receiving child or adult depends on that person's immune system and genetic makeup. The best way of controlling the spread of this infection is to become tested for aggressive bacteria. If these bacteria are present, then treatment of the infection will control it for you and for those around you. In families, if one person has an oral infection, then everyone in the family should be tested and all infections treated at the same time.

I have an uncomfortable taste in my mouth. Although I brush several times a day and floss regularly, the taste is still there. My dental hygienist recommended that I clean my tongue but that has made only a small difference. My dentist says my mouth looks healthy. Where is this taste coming from?

When there is an infection in the mouth, it may create an unusual or uncomfortable taste that will not disappear with oral hygiene. This is due to large numbers of bacteria producing byproducts from the proteins that they break down. The proteins come from your gums, dead cells and bits of food particles. When bacteria digest these proteins, the chemicals that are left over are very toxic and smelly. When these chemicals dissolve in the saliva, they also give you a bad taste. Some of these chemicals are hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulphide.

I have a white coating on my tongue and a constant bitter taste in my mouth. What is this?

The coating and bitter taste are often caused by the body's reaction to the bacteria and yeasts that are present on the tongue surface. The bitter taste comes from the products the bacteria leave on the tongue surface after they digest their food.

Can bacteria in the mouth negatively affect good dentistry?

Yes, this is possible. Oral infection will cause periodontal disease leading to a breakdown of the membranes that hold the tooth in place. In mild cases, this leads to recession and in severe cases, to tooth loss. If you have crowns or veneers and your gums recede, this will leave a margin between the tooth and the veneer, ruining your smile. As the membranes that support the teeth in place within the bone slowly break down, expensive crowns and bridges may become loose and have to be removed.

Why should I have a basic oral infection screening with each dental hygiene appointment?

The composition of your oral biofilm (the bacteria in your mouth) can change between appointments. Exposure to someone else's bacteria, illness or stress, being overtired, or having a poor diet can all weaken immune system, thereby weakening your resistance to oral infection. Since the screening for harmful bacteria is inexpensive and only takes a few minutes, it is a good precaution to take. This test would show whether you have aggressive bacteria in your mouth.

If a parent has oral infection or bad breath are the children likely to be infected as well?

Yes, children are susceptible. If one of the parents have oral infection or bad breath, the children in the family are 35 to 50 times more likely to have oral infection.

Are teenagers with braces more likely to have oral infection?

Braces are a constant foreign matter in the mouth and they disturb the salivary flow, create scratches (little wounds) around the tongue and inner lip and trap food. Because the areas around the braces are difficult to clean, bacteria grow profusely forming strong matrices between the gum line and the braces. This results in inflammation of the tissues and gingivitis. Since our medications are in the form of a topical rinse, it will be quite effective in killing bacteria from these colonies around the braces. Our maintenance rinses will maintain a healthy biofilm.

What causes a dry mouth? My mouth often feels very dry even though I drink a lot of water.

The most accepted cause of dry mouth is insufficient production of saliva. However, we have many clients who complain of oral dryness even though there is ample saliva present. We have found that the dry and pasty feeling described by our clients is a response of the tongue and tissues to the increased chemical production by bacteria. Bacteria produce volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) such as hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulphide that makes the tissues feel dry. Once these bacteria are reduced and their by-products eliminated, the sensation disappears and there is no longer a complaint of oral dryness.

Where can I get OraVital® treatment for gum disease, halitosis, and oral infection?

OraVital® Clinics are carefully selected, full-service dental clinics that have special OraVital® equipment and training. There are many OraVital® Clinics in Canada, United States and Europe. Click here for a directory of OraVital® Clinics.