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Temporal abscess after third molar extraction in the mandible



Dental infections resulting before or after third molar removal are complications in which the maxillofacial surgeon may have to initiate an earlier management. The severe dental infections resulting before or after this procedure is one of the few life-threatening complications in which the maxillofacial surgeon may have to initiate an earlier management. Infections involving the temporal space are rare and infrequently reported. Infections in this space have also been observed secondary to maxillary sinusitis, maxillary sinus fracture, temporomandibular arthroscopy, and drug injection, although more commonly associated to third molar infections.

Case report

A 22-year-old man had undergone extraction of tooth 38 secondary to pericoronaritis by a general dentist. Physical examination of his face demonstrated severe trismus, pain, and swelling in temporal region. A CT scan showed an inflammatory area into the temporal space. He was started on IV cephalosporin, but the clinical course of the patient was not satisfactory. Incision and drainage were performed from an extraoral and intraoral approach. After discharged, the antibiotic was switched to clindamycin IO 600 mg.


The retromaxillary and temporal infections are quite common after maxillary molar extractions but not after mandibular third molar, the spread mechanism of ascension must be involved with the virulence of microorganisms, but more studies are necessary to clarify this occurrence.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Maximiana Cristina de Souza Maliska.

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de Oliveira Neto, P.J., de Souza Maliska, M.C., Sawazaki, R. et al. Temporal abscess after third molar extraction in the mandible. Oral Maxillofac Surg 16, 107–110 (2012).

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  • Dental infections
  • Temporal space
  • Third molar