SPREAD OF ORAL INFECTIONS
Cellulitis is a diffuse inflammation of connective tissue with severe inflammation of dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. It is a spreading diffuse inflammatory process with formation of suppurative/purulent exudate or pus.
Common types of infection:
Periapical, peridontal, postsurgical, pericoronal
May begin as well-delineated, self-limiting condition with potential to spread and result in a major fascial space infection.
Life-threatening sequelae can ensue:
Septicemia, cavernous sinus thrombosis, airway obstruction, mediastinitis
Infection can spread via the blood, lymph and the tissue spaces. In dentistry, the most relevant tissue spaces are the:Pterygomandibular space
Lateral pharyngeal space
Ludwig's angina, otherwise known as angina ludovici, is a serious, potentially life-threatening cellulitis, or connective tissue infection, of the floor of the mouth, usually occurring in adults with concomitant dental infections. It is named after the German physician, Wilhelm Friedrich von Ludwig who first described this condition in 1836. Other names include "angina Maligna" and "Morbus Strangularis".
Ludwig's angina should not be confused with angina pectoris, which is also otherwise commonly known as "angina". The word "angina" comes from the Greek word ankhon, meaning "strangling", so in this case, Ludwig's angina refers to the feeling of strangling, not the feeling of chest pain, though there may be chest pain in Ludwig's angina if the infection spreads into the retrosternal space
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