How serious are oral infections?
ABSTRACT Life-threatening conditions following dental infections have been rare since antibiotics were introduced into the world of medicine. However, infections spreading through the soft tissues of the head and neck are encountered occasionally and mortality is still reported as a result of sepsis or airway embarrassment. A case of Ludwig's angina from odontogenic infection that progressed into mediastinitis and pericarditis is presented. The steps adopted in the management of this case highlight the significance of early recognition and diagnosis of the source of deep cervical infections, the importance of securing the airway, effecting surgical drainage and aggressive intravenous antibiotic therapy.