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What is Osteomyelitis?
A bone infection or an inflammation of the bone is known by the terms osteomyelitis (periostitis or ostitis). Bone inflammations can be formed due to external pathogenic agents such as bacteria, viruses and fungi (viz., exogenous factors) or even due to internal factors (endogenous factors). Endogenous factors lie within our own bodies. For example, in diabetes, increased sugar levels lead to thickening of blood vessel walls, which in turn impairs proper blood flow. Impairment of blood flow can reach an extent where certain areas of the body are no longer supplied with blood; the affected tissues die because of oxygen deficiency, and these tissues are destroyed as the consequence of an inflammatory reaction. When both these factors (exogenous/endogenous factors) occur simultaneously, then it is called by the term combined forms. Idiopathic osteomyelitis, characterized by bone inflammation of unidentified origin, may be regarded as a fourth form. An inflammation of the periosteum which is the vascular connective tissue covering the bones is known as periotitis. An inflammation of the bone marrow is called as ostemyelitis. When the osteiod which is the matrix of the bone gets infected, the infection is known by ostitis. Signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis include Fever, Pain in the area of the infection and Swelling, warmth and redness over the area of the infection. The most common causes of jaw bone inflammation are exogenous. Heavily destroyed Teeth by caries, extractions and/or poor root canal treatments can lead to bone infections. The most frequent and simplest treatment option is antibiotic therapy, which can be oral or intravenous. The latter gives a higher concentration of the active ingredient in the blood. By means of oxygen therapy, the concentration of oxygen in the blood can be enhanced. This is helpful because inflamed bone has an insufficient blood supply, and consequently, very little oxygen. These are ideal conditions for the multiplication of bacteria that do not tolerate oxygen; i.e., anaerobic bacteria. Oxygen-rich blood will help in destroying these bacteria. This video will throw more light on how bone infections occur and their treatment. Please remember that the best way to avoid bone infections during dental surgery is through sterilization and maintaining dental hygiene.
Produced: 06/2011
The best treatment is debridement "removal and cleaning of the infected bone" and grafting in antibiotic impregnated bone graft. Antibiotic treatment, depending on the location and severity of a person's osteomyelitis can take many weeks and often requires a PICC-line for IV antibiotics. - Steven Koos DDS, MD
Posted: 11 years ago