Can I make my jaws bigger?

Oral surgery

Infections in the jaw / face area

Purulent infections in the jaw and face area have their origin in up to 85% of all cases in a dead tooth, an infected tooth socket, a gingival pocket or a tooth cyst.

By far the most common cause of abscess formation in the mouth and face area is a dead tooth. This is caused by the progressive tooth decay, which eats its way through the tooth structure until it reaches the nerve tissue inside the tooth (tooth pulp). The tooth pulp is killed as the infection progresses, and pus can form inside the tooth. The infection can then spread through the jawbone into the surrounding soft tissue and form an abscess there.

Other causes of infections in the mouth and face area are inflamed gum pockets (periodontitis) and an inflamed tooth bed (alveoli), especially after a difficult wisdom tooth removal in the lower jaw. More rarely, a tooth cyst can be the origin of an infection. Since the causes of an acute infection in this region usually come from a tooth, the same bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay and periodontitis are usually found as the infectious agents in the pus. Above all, these are the various germs in our natural oral flora, primarily certain strains of streptococci. Pathways and symptoms of infections in the jaw and face area Small abscesses originating from a tooth can quickly spread locally or along the complex connective tissue and log system of the face and neck.

In this way, the pus can get from the upper jaw to the base of the skull or even into the inside of the skull to the brain via the venous system in a very short time. The pus can get from the lower jaw along the various neck compartments (fascia boxes) to the chest (mediastinum) and cause a life-threatening infection there. For this reason, every abscess in the mouth and face area must be treated aggressively as early as possible.

All abscesses in this region lead to the well-known signs of acute inflammation: swelling, reddening, pain and local overheating. Occasionally an abscess empties itself and spontaneous fistulas occur with pus emptying into the oral cavity or to the outside. Specific symptoms of acute inflammation in the jaw and face area are painful obstruction of the mouth opening (jaw clamp) and swallowing disorders if the pus spreads along the pharynx wall. This is a particularly dangerous situation because the swelling can quickly narrow the throat and the patient is at risk of suffocation.

If an abscess has reached a certain size, so-called systemic symptoms such as fever and a worsening of the general condition also occur. These are also signs that therapy should be started as soon as possible. Therapy of abscesses in the jaw and face area As with accumulations of pus in other parts of the body, the first basic rule of treatment for abscesses in the jaw and face area is: "Ubi pus, ibi evacua" - where there is pus, it must be drained. All abscesses in this region are treated primarily surgically by incising and draining the abscess. Drainage is always very important to keep the abscess cavity open so that the incision site does not overgrow before the inflammation has subsided sufficiently in depth. The smaller, still localized abscesses in the mouth are all split and drained enorally, i.e. from the mouth. In the case of larger, more advanced abscesses, this is often no longer sufficient, and access to the abscess must be from the outside. Next, the cause of the infection, i.e. the guilty tooth, is tackled or removed. If the tooth is still worth preserving, the dentist treats it for the root. If the tooth can be easily removed without major manipulation, this can be done in the same session as the abscess splitting. If, however, a complex surgical tooth removal with bone removal is indicated, this should only take place after the infection has healed, because otherwise the risk of germs spreading into the bones is too great. Antibiotics only play a subordinate role in the treatment of infections in the jaw and face region. If at all, they are only given for large abscesses with general symptoms and only as an accompanying measure. They can accelerate the healing process after the procedure, but cannot replace surgical therapy. In any case, prevention is better than any therapy. Perfect oral hygiene prevents all caries or periodontitis and thus in most cases the formation of serious infections in this region.