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Open Access Etiopathogenesis of Mandibulofacial and Maxillofacial Abscesses in Mice

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The etiologic agent of mandibulofacial and maxillofacial abscesses in mice is reportedly coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus. Although suggested to be through the oral cavity, the exact route of entry has not been documented. Among the clinical cases of mandibulofacial and maxillofacial abscess we report here, each case that was cultured yielded coagulase-positive S. aureus. Histologically, all of the abscesses examined were directly associated with intralesional hair shafts, both vibrissae and pelage, that were introduced into the submucosa via the maxillary or mandibular molar gingival sulci. Grossly, a variable amount of hair was imbedded in the lingual, buccal, or mesial gingival sulci of the maxillary or mandibular molars or both. Computed tomography revealed that the presence of the hair resulted in inflammation and resorption of alveolar bone. With these findings, we propose that mandibulofacial and maxillofacial abscesses are induced by the mastication and fragmentation of hair ingested during the barbering process. From the resulting foreign body periodontitis, abscess formation originates at the maxillary lingual, buccal, or mesial gingival sulci, resulting in infection of the maxillary molar tooth roots with swelling or rupture through the skin inferior to the eye, or at the mandibular lingual, buccal, and or mesial gingival sulci, resulting in infection of the mandibular molar tooth roots and osteomyelitis with drainage through the skin of the ventral mandible.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. [email protected]

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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