The main treatment modalities for the many different, common and less common, oral and maxillofacial infections are
- antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral) drugs;
- surgical interventions;
- a combination of both.
Antimicrobial medications play a major role in the treatment of infections, not just oral and maxillofacial infections. In many circumstances, these drugs in various forms of application will be the sole treatment necessary.
Surgical interventions in the treatment of infections have a main focus on the removal of the cause of the infection and of diseased and necrotic (dead) tissue. The commonest form of this is draining pus. In some instances of severe acute infections, this may take the form of emergency surgery.
With oral and maxillofacial infections covering the whole range from trivial to life-threatening problems, the scale and types of treatment options cover a similar range – from no need for intervention all the way to major emergency surgery. The exact optimal treatment routes depend on the type and severity of the infectious condition, in addition to the presence or absence of other / additional / underlying conditions as well any long-term treatment of such conditions (for example, long-term treatment with anticoagulant medications).
There are differences in treatment approaches for soft and hard (bone) tissue infections, as well as in the treatment and management of acute and chronic infections.
The following page takes a closer look at specific infectious conditions and their treatment. In some cases, we point to separate pages, dedicated to particular conditions (for example, there are dedicated pages about diagnosis and treatment of abscesses, bone infections, infections of the salivary glands).
Next section: Infection