PDF: Odontogenic Infection. Review of the Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Complications and Treatment

Odontogenic infections are frequently seen in the dental practice, being dental caries its main etiology; therefore, dentists should be familiarized with its presentation and management as it can spread rapidly and have serious consequences.

The purpose of this article is to provide essential knowledge on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, possible complications and treatment of odontogenic infections. 

Odontogenic infection (OI) is defined as those infections that originate from pulpal or periodontal pathology that affect the alveolar bone and can spread through the bone marrow, cortical bone and periosteum to structures distant from the oral cavity.

OI is one of the most common diseases, accounting for 60% of reason for dental consultation with the dentist. 

The main etiology is dental caries, but it can also develop from pericoronitis, periodontal pockets or exodontia. 

The severity of the infection depends on multiple factors, such as the virulence of the bacteria, the systemic state of the patient and the anatomical spaces affected.

Ocassionally, symptoms and clinical manifestations may become severe, requiring in-hospital management. Dissemination of OI can compromise the airway, putting life at risk. 

The principle of treatment dates back to the time of Hippocrates when it was established that the elimination of the infectious agent along with incision and drainage (ID) are key to the resolution of an OI. In addition, it has to be accompanied by antibiotic therapy. 

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