A 13 year review of patients diagnosed to have Ludwig's angina admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India, between March 1982 and April 1995 is presented. The patients were either admitted to the ENT or paediatric surgical units. There were 41 patients, 24% being children and 76% adults. The clinical profile and outcome of these two groups were compared. In the paediatric group, none had dental caries while in the adult group, 52% had associated dental caries. In children, 70% were controlled with conservative medical management unlike the adults of whom 81% needed incision and drainage. Tracheostomy was necessary in 10% of the children and in 52% of the adults. The mortality was 10% in both groups.