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Submandibular Abscess, Know the Symptoms and Treatment

A submandibular abscess is a bacterial infection accompanied by a buildup of pus in the floor of the mouth, lower jaw and neck. If left unchecked, the infection can spread to other organs and a pile of pus in the neck can block the airway. Therefore, treatment from a doctor needs to be given immediately. 

Submandibular Abscess, Know the Symptoms and Treatment
Submandibular Abscess, Know the Symptoms and Treatment

An abscess is a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection. This condition can affect various areas of the body, including the jaw and neck, as in the case of a submandibular abscess or also called Ludwig's angina.

Generally, the cause of a submandibular abscess is a tooth infection which usually starts with the molars in the lower jaw. However, this abscess can also be caused by an ear infection.

Submandibular abscesses are more prone to be experienced by adults than children and people who have broken jaws or don't maintain good dental and oral hygiene.

Symptoms of Submandibular Abscess

A submandibular abscess is characterized by pain under the tongue, lower jaw, and neck and swelling in the neck and jaw. In addition, there are several other symptoms that can accompany it, namely:

  • Fever
  • feverish
  • Swollen tongue
  • Tongue pain
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Lump in back of throat
  • It's hard to talk
  • Difficult to swallow
  • It's hard to breathe
  • Hoarseness of breath (stridor)

In severe submandibular abscesses, the bacterial infection can spread throughout the body and cause life-threatening complications, such as sepsis and septic shock.

Submandibular Abscess Treatment

Submandibular abscess is an emergency condition that requires immediate treatment by a doctor. Apart from the risk of causing sepsis, a submandibular abscess can also block the respiratory tract, making it difficult or even impossible for the sufferer to breathe.

Treatment of a submandibular abscess can be given by a doctor based on the patient's age, overall health condition, and medical history.

The following are treatments that can be done by doctors at the hospital to treat submandibular abscesses:

1. Antibiotics

The doctor will give antibiotics to treat bacterial infections that cause submandibular abscesses. Giving antibiotics is usually done through intravenous fluids, because it is often difficult for sufferers to open their mouths to consume something.

2. Pus discharge

A submandibular abscess is also characterized by a lump filled with pus. So, the doctor will remove the pus in the jaw and neck area through surgery. This disposal of pus aims to make it easier for the patient to breathe.

3. Tooth extraction

If a submandibular abscess is caused by a tooth infection, the doctor will recommend that the sufferer remove the infected tooth. This action is performed when the condition of the patient with a submandibular abscess has improved or the symptoms have disappeared.

4. Tracheostomy

When a submandibular abscess has blocked the respiratory tract, the doctor can perform a tracheostomy procedure to treat it. This procedure is performed by inserting a breathing tube into the trachea or windpipe.

Submandibular abscess or Ludwig's angina is a serious condition that requires emergency treatment in a hospital, such as intensive care or surgery. The reason is, this condition can quickly worsen if not treated immediately.

Therefore, if you experience symptoms of a submandibular abscess, especially one that has caused difficulty breathing and hoarseness, you are advised to immediately go to the hospital to get treatment from a doctor.

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