Ludwig's angina is a bacterial infection of the floor of the mouth.
Ludwig's angina is a type of
cellulitis that involves inflammation of the tissues of the floor of the
mouth, under the tongue. It often occurs after an infection of the roots of
the teeth (such as tooth abscess) or a mouth injury.
Swelling of the tissues occurs
rapidly and may block the airway or prevent swallowing of saliva.
Additional symptoms that may be
associated with this disease:
Exams and Tests
An examination of the neck and head
shows redness and swelling of the upper neck, under the chin. The swelling
may reach to the floor of the mouth. The tongue may be swollen or out of
If the swelling blocks the airway,
emergency medical help is needed to maintain an open airway. This may
involve placing a breathing tube through the mouth or nose and into the
lungs, or surgery called a tracheostomy that creates an opening through the
neck into the windpipe.
Ludwig's angina can be life threatening. However, it can be cured with proper protection of the airways and appropriate antibiotics.
1. Airway blockage
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Breathing difficulty is an
emergency situation. Immediately go to the emergency room or call your local
Regular visits to the dentist, and prompt treatment of mouth or tooth infections can prevent the conditions that increase the risk of developing Ludwig's angina.
Submandibular space infection; Sublingual space infection