Dental infections, including gingivitis, periodontitis, dental caries and odontogenic infections, result in numerous dental visits each year in Canada.
They can range in severity from a mild buccal space infection to a severe life-threatening multi-space infection.
All dentists should be comfortable with prompt diagnosis and management of these types of infections. This review of odontogenic infections describes causative organisms, management including appropriate antibiotic selection and the indications for referral to a specialist.
Most odontogenic infections are caused by more than 1 species of the bacteria normally found within the oral cavity.
Roughly 50% of odontogenic infections are caused by anaerobic bacteria alone, 44% by a combination of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and only 6% by aerobic bacteria alone. The most common species of bacteria isolated in odontogenic infections are the anaerobic gram-positive cocci Streptococcus milleri group and Peptostreptococcus.
Anaerobic gramnegative rods, such as Bacteroides (Prevotella) also play an important role. Anaerobic gram-negative cocci and anaerobic gram-positive rods have little effect.
°Canadian Dental Association
°Dr. Curtis Gregoire