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Cutaneous sinus tracts of dental origin

Med J Aust 2007; 186 (5): 264-265.

Acutaneous dental sinus tract is a channel which leads from a dental focus of infection to drain onto the face or neck.1 These tracts tend to occur more frequently from infected mandibular teeth (80%) than maxillary teeth (20%).2 Hence, they are more common in the submandibular or submental regions of the face.3 Sinus tracts may result from localised infections, such as an infected tooth, periodontal disease, actinomycosis or osteomyelitis.4 There are numerous reports of cutaneous dental sinus tracts in the dental literature,1,4-10 but comparatively few reports in the medical literature.2,3 Patients with these lesions often present first to general practitioners rather than to dentists,1-7 possibly because they do not associate lesions of the face with teeth and often have no associated dental pain.

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  • Roland A Barrowman1
  • Mehdi Rahimi2
  • Mark D Evans3
  • Arun Chandu4
  • Peter Parashos5

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

None identified.

  • 1. Tidwell E, Jenkins JD, Ellis CD, et al. Cutaneous odontogenic sinus tract to the chin. Int Endod J 1997; 30: 352-355.
  • 2. Cantatore JL, Klein PA, Lieblich LM. Cutaneous dental sinus tract, a common misdiagnosis: a case report and review of the literature. Cutis 2002; 70: 264-265.
  • 3. Karp MP, Bernat JE, Cooney DR, Jewett TC. Dental disease masquerading as suppurative lesions of the neck. J Pediatr Surg 1982; 17: 532-536.
  • 4. Johnson BR, Remeikis NA, Van Cura JE. Diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous facial sinus tracts of dental origin. JADA 1999; 130: 832-836.
  • 5. Cohenca N, Karni S, Rotstein I. Extraoral sinus tract misdiagnosed as an endodontic lesion. J Endod 2003; 29: 841-843.
  • 6. McWalter GM, Alexander JB, del Rio CE, et al. Cutaneous sinus tracts of dental aetiology. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1988; 66: 608-614.
  • 7. Bender IB, Seltzer S. The oral fistula: its diagnosis and treatment. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1961; 14: 1367-1376.
  • 8. Mukerji R, Jones DC. Facial sinus tract of dental origin: a case report. Dent Update 2002; 29: 170-171.
  • 9. Sakamoto E, Stratigos GT. Bilateral cutaneous sinus tract of dental etiology: report of a case. J Oral Surg 1973; 31: 701-704.
  • 10. Nakamura Y, Hirayama K, Hossain M, Matsumoto K. A case of an odontogenic cutaneous sinus tract. Int Endod J 1999; 32: 328-331.

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