Osteomyelitis of the jawbone

Osteomyelitis of the jaw is usually the result of an ulcerated dental root or an infected implant.

If osteomyelitis of the jawbone is not treated, pus may be secreted through fistulas in the mouth or maxillary sinuses, but it may also enter the bloodstream.  This can cause blood poisoning (sepsis) and / or spread to other parts of the body, causing infections in completely unrelated organs.

If antibiotic treatment does not resolve the problem within a few weeks, surgery will almost certainly be needed. 

During the operation, any foreign objects must be removed from the infected area, together with any necrotic tissue (sequestrum). The remaining bone margins are milled clean, while taking care not to damage any living tissue.  The resulting cavities are packed with cancellous bone impregnated with antibiotics, which within a few weeks is converted by the body into living bone. The wound is always closed immediately.

After reconstruction of the affected parts and once the bone transplant is satisfactorily integrated, dental implants can subsequently be inserted; the appropriate time varies in each case between 6 weeks and several months after the operation.

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