Masticator space infection always presents with trismus and is most likely due to infection of the third molar of the mandible. Large abscesses may track toward the posterior parapharyngeal spaces. Patients may require fiberoptic nasoendotracheal intubation while awake.
The tooth that is most frequently involved with dental abscess is the lower third molar, followed by other lower posterior teeth; upper posterior teeth are much less frequently involved, and anterior teeth are rarely involved.
Retropharyngeal space infection is more common in children younger than 4 years. It is usually due to an upper respiratory infection with spread to retropharyngeal lymph nodes. Because of high potential for spread to the mediastinum, retropharyngeal space infection is a serious fascial infection.
Pericoronal infection occurs in an erupting or a partially impacted tooth when tissue covering the tooth's crown becomes inflamed and infected. An abscess may form and require incision and drainage (I&D). The tooth itself is not usually involved.
For more on the presentation of dental disease, read here.
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Cite this: Jeff Burgess. Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Dental Health? - Medscape - Oct 16, 2017.