Imaging of Odontogenic Infections

Radiol Clin North Am. 2018 Jan;56(1):31-44. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Oct 21.


Odontogenic infections represent a common clinical problem in patients of all ages. The presence of teeth enables the direct spread of inflammatory products from dental caries, trauma, and/or periodontal disease into the maxilla and mandible. The radiographic changes seen depend on the type and duration of the inflammatory process and host body response. Imaging plays a central role in identifying the source of infection and the extent of the disease spread and in detecting any complications. Many different imaging modalities can be used. The radiographic features associated with acute and chronic inflammatory processes are discussed.

Keywords: Cross-sectional imaging; Head and neck spaces; Odontogenic infection; Osteomyelitis; Panoramic radiography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Caries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Focal Infection, Dental / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Patient Positioning / methods
  • Periodontal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiography, Dental / methods*
  • Tooth Injuries / diagnostic imaging*