Oral and Facial Infection

What Causes Infection?

The most common cause of swelling in the oral and facial area is infection. Infection is characterized by swelling, severe pain, difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty swallowing, or fever. The primary source of most oral infections is the teeth. Whether due to tooth decay, gum disease, or a crack, inflammation can lead to an infection causing pain and swelling. The infection can further spread to different facial areas as presented with swelling. Infection can quickly worsen and spread to other areas of the face and neck.

Infection may also be caused by salivary glands or sinuses. Evaluation and proper X-rays help with proper diagnosis and recommendations.

It is NOT necessary to be on antibiotics for a few days before surgery. The source of infection must be eliminated immediately. This means that a tooth causing an infection should be extracted as soon as possible and not be delayed for use of antibiotics.

The Key is Early Management:

The key to treatment of any infection is early management. If you experience pain, swelling, drainage, or fever, contact us as soon as possible. Antibiotics may be administered until you are seen and fully evaluated. Delay in management can lead to the spread of infection and potential involvement of other parts of the face or neck. If severe, hospitalization may be required along with IV antibiotics and surgical drainage.

Treatment of infection requires ALL of the following:

  • Immediate removal of the source
  • Drainage (if necessary)
  • Antibiotics

Report to a hospital immediately if you have:

  • Severe neck or facial swelling
  • Are unable to swallow
  • Experience any difficulty breathing