How does jawbone inflammation occur?
Inflammation of the jawbone, also known as osteomyelitis, is a serious matter that requires careful attention. Not only is this condition painful, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of the jaw and have long-term consequences for oral health.
Jawbone inflammation often results from the spread of bacterial infections from the teeth or gums. This can occur due to neglected tooth decay or untreated periodontitis, where the bacteria enter the bone via the root canal system or gum pockets. Trauma, such as facial injuries, can also cause jawbone fractures, which promote bacterial invasion.
Radiation, diabetes or medications as amplifiers
Certain systemic conditions, such as diabetes and osteoporosis, can increase the risk of jawbone inflammation. Likewise, oncology patients, especially those receiving radiation or antiresorptive drug therapy, are susceptible to this type of infection. Chemotherapy drugs can also weaken the immune system and make the mouth more susceptible to infections, increasing the risk of osteomyelitis. The side effects of some medications, including dry mouth and changes in oral flora, may also contribute to an increased risk.
The role of surgery
Once the inflammation has been diagnosed, immediate treatment is crucial. In some cases, wound treatments and antibiotics may be sufficient, but in others, additional oral surgery is necessary to remove inflamed tissue and prevent the infection from spreading. The surgical strategy must be individualized to combat the disease and preserve the structure of the jaw.
Preventive measures are crucial for all patients, especially those at increased risk of jawbone inflammation. Regular dental exams and good oral hygiene are essential. Tumour patients need to remain in close consultation with the dentist during and after oncological treatment to identify and treat possible problems at an early stage.