A woman holding her jaw

Mouth infection: symptoms and possible treatments

Painful mouth, swollen, red gums? Trouble eating and drinking? These common mouth infection signs could be caused by either bacteria or fungal infections in your mouth – and it’s important you get the right treatment. Read on to learn now just what causes mouth infections but also how to treat oral infections and manage the pain they cause. 

What is a mouth infection?

Mouth infections are inflammations of the oral cavity – either of your teeth, gums or facial bones.

The most common causes of such inflammations are:

  • Bacteria. High levels of bacteria can cause mouth infections and often appear as a dental abscess. It’s important to treat a dental infection sooner rather than later as any infection can turn into sepsis if allowed to escalate. 
  • Fungus. The fungus Candida can cause an infection of oral thrush. It presents with different symptoms to a bacterial infection and needs a different kind of treatment.

Bacterial mouth infection: Good vs. bad bacteria

The mouth is full of bacteria – and that’s mostly a good thing even though it can sound a bit scary at first. The ‘good bacteria’ is the one that behaves on behalf of the human health and is helpful to keep the oral balance.

But there are also types of bacteria that don’t keep your mouth and teeth happy – those are non-beneficial bacteria that can ultimately lead to mouth infections and further issues such as periodontitis. This is an advanced gum infection where your gum begins to separate from your teeth. Read our article on periodontitis to learn more.

Zendium contains natural enzymes and proteins. The enzymes and proteins in saliva, and those in Zendium, help keep a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the mouth. Bad bacteria are the source of oral health problems including cavities, gum issues and bad breath. Good bacteria can help protect your mouth. The enzymes and proteins in Zendium work to both boost good bacteria that promote gum health and target problem-causing bad bacteria*. 

A woman holding her jaw

Mouth infection symptoms

There are many mouth infection signs that can help with diagnosis.

For bacterial mouth infections, including periodontitis, look out for symptoms including: 

  • Bad breath
  • Bitter taste
  • Persistent pain
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Swollen and inflamed gums, neck glands or jaw
  • Receding gums or new spaces between your teeth
  • Headache
  • Fever

Mouth infection symptoms for fungal infections like oral thrush include:

  • Cracked corners of the mouth
  • Loss of taste or unpleasant taste
  • Sore gums or tongue
  • Difficulty eating and drinking
  • Swollen gums with white patches

Mouth infection treatment

Now you know how to know if you have a mouth infection, the big question left to answer is how to treat it.

First, speak to a professional. Anyone not sure what to do for mouth infections and experiencing pain and/or a fever should speak to their dentist as professional treatment may be needed. Some mouth infection treatments will require antibiotics that need to be prescribed but for fungal infections such as thrush speak to your pharmacist who may be able to offer over-the-counter treatments.

Remember: both bacterial mouth infections and fungal infections such as thrush can spread to other parts of your body if not treated correctly. Act quickly if you develop any further symptoms.

Manage pain at home. Although you should always speak to a dental professional for diagnosis and treatment, there are ways to get short-term relief from the pain of a mouth infection. These include using over-the-counter painkillers, avoiding hot or cold food, using an antibacterial mouthwash or rinsing your mouth with salt water. These remedies don’t teach you how to get rid of a mouth infection though, they only help to manage the pain. That’s why you should always see your dentist.

A person and a dentist wearing a mask

How to prevent mouth infections

Following treatment, it’s a good idea to follow these preventative measures to reduce the risk of developing other mouth infections in the future:

  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Use mouthwash regularly from a brand you trust like the Zendium Complete Protection Mouthwash with antibacterial enzymes and proteins.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months 
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria that can collect here
  • See your dentist for regular assessments





*Refers to the gum health and gum problems associated bacterial species in dental plaque which changed significantly over a 14-week clinical study with 102 subjects.

The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes. We recommend that you consult your dentist if you are experiencing any gum or tooth problems.