Symptoms and treatment of oral actinomycosis
An infectious disease, which is characterized by a chronic form of the course and a specific inflammatory process, is called actinomycosis. The cause of its occurrence is radiant fungi, namely actinomycetes, which have entered the body.
The defeat of the actinomycosis of the oral cavity is quite widespread. Almost half of the patients with actinomycosis suffer from the cervicofacial region. Mostly people belonging to the middle age category are ill, although children, both preschoolers and schoolchildren, are often targeted by microbes.
The most common cause of the disease is autoinfection (self-infection). Radiant fungi that live in the oral cavity are activated and, acquiring a pathogenic form, overcome the body's defenses. The carriers of the infection are plaque on the teeth, caries, tartar, gum disease.
Scientists believe that radiant fungi can live in the oral cavity for a long time without causing any damage to the body. But if the integrity of the mucous membrane is violated, they cease to be saprophytes and begin to invade the tissue - actinomycosis of the maxillofacial region occurs. The process spreads further, gradually capturing the periosteum and bone tissue. The affected area of the bone dies off and is rejected, osteomyelitis is diagnosed on the jaw.
Much less often, you can find infection with actinomycosis from external sources. The same radiant fungi remain pathogens, but they enter the body with a plant or dust. A person is rarely exposed to such a danger, in most cases animals eating grass are affected.
For humans, the most likely place for the penetration of actinomycetes are teeth. And not only destroyed, but also wisdom teeth, which for a long time cannot come out. An inflamed gum, a pocket that is necessarily formed if the tooth does not find a way out, serves as a springboard for the penetration of radiant fungi into the tissue.
Contribute to their penetration and injury, damage to the gums remaining after tooth extraction. Places of localization of actinomycosis in the oral cavity are postoperative wounds, gums, tongue.
Most often, actinomycosis affects the cervico-facial region and the lower jaw. The scheme of penetration is as follows: trauma, surgery, injection violates the integrity of the epithelium, and this is quite enough for the causative agent of actinomycosis to enter the tissue.
Symptoms of oral actinomycosis
At first, the disease practically does not manifest itself. Dense nodes-granulomas, or actinomycomas, formed deep in tissues or inside the mucous membrane, do not cause an acute inflammatory process or an increase in temperature. The sick person feels normal.
When the decay of the nodes begins, which is accompanied by the discharge of pus from narrow fistulas, the intoxication of the body is clearly visible. It is accompanied by headaches, general weakness, low-grade fever. If the nodes are concentrated in the lower jaw, then convulsive spasms of the muscles of the mouth are possible, or trismus, which makes it difficult to eat.
In the place where the nodes merge with each other, the inflamed infiltrate is usually strongly compacted, which is the basis for the diagnosis of actinomycosis. In the middle of the infiltrate, holes resembling nipples are visible. Their color is red, they seem to protrude on the surface. And the fistulas themselves secrete pus, liquid in consistency, yellowish-gray grains are visible in it, the diameter of which does not exceed 1 mm. The grains are called sulfur granules or Bollinger bodies. These are druses - colonies of fungi that are formed by mycelium. The presence of druses gives all the grounds for a definitive diagnosis.
If in doubt, they resort to a skin-allergic test, in which actinolysate is used - a protein extract of the culture. If the body is affected by actinomycosis, then the diagnosis is confirmed by the clinical manifestations of the disease: hyperemia and edema, which after 24 hours appear in the place where the injection was.
Treatment of oral actinomycosis
Treatment of oral actinomycosis is primarily aimed at strengthening tissues, restoring their functional usefulness, and strengthening immunity. If the treatment takes place in a hospital setting, then blood transfusion is prescribed. To strengthen the body, vitamin C, multivitamins, aloe extract, calcium gluconate, fortified fish oil, irradiation with quartz are prescribed.
In most cases, the nonspecific flora present in the focus contributes to the inflammatory processes. It is treatable with antibiotics in combination with sulfonamide drugs.
The foci of infection are constantly washed with special preparations that destroy bacteria, and turundas soaked in antibiotics are injected.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".