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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
December 2005

Radiology Quiz Case 2: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(12):1119. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.12.1119

Cutaneous dental sinus tracts are uncommon and, as a result, are frequently misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated, as in the present case. The tract usually develops from an area of periapical infection due to dental caries or trauma.1 The infection spreads through alveolar bone and adjacent soft tissues and may open intraorally or extraorally. The site of extraoral drainage depends on the tooth involved. The most common tracts are associated with anterior mandibular teeth and open onto the chin or submental area. Other sites include the cheeks, nose, upper lip, submandibular region, and neck.2-4