Head & Neck Infections
Infections of the face, mouth and neck can sometimes be serious, even life-threatening. Sources of infection can include the teeth, skin, salivary glands and prior surgical wounds. If you believe that you are suffering from an infection, you will likely have one or more of the cardinal signs of infection, namely pain, swelling, redness, warmth and drainage. People can even run a temperature, become dehydrated, disoriented and extremely ill. Early infections are often deemed cellulitic, where there is inflammation and pain but no pus has collected. As the infections continue, purulence (pus) may accumulate and drain in the mouth or through the skin, thus becoming a true abscess.
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are true experts in the diagnosis and treatment of any and all infections of the face, neck and mouth. It is important that patients receive early consultation and the necessary radiographic imaging. If necessary, Drs. Coviello and Starley are the only local oral surgeons with admitting privileges for Winchester Medical Center, and they may feel as though a patient is best treated in a hospital setting. They also have the capacity to treat severe infections in-office, with a combination of IV sedation and antibiotics as well as any necessary drainage or removal of offending teeth. Cone beam CAT scans (CBCTs) may also be taken in-office for immediate evaluation by the surgeons in order to define the best course of treatment.