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Article: Volume 48 Number 4 Page 279 - April 2021

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  Dent Update 2021; 48: 279-282

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery:  Not all swellings are dental abscesses: a cautionary tale

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Abstract: Carcinomas of the maxillary antrum are rare and tend to present late, leading to poor survival rates. Two-thirds of cases will present with oral symptoms or facial swelling. Dentists should be aware of suspicious clinical and radiographic signs, which may help in early detection and treatment. We present the case of a 48-year-old female complaining of facial swelling. In preceding months, she had visited her GP and dentist numerous times, receiving antibiotics from each for suspected sinusitis and a dental abscess, respectively. Subsequent investigations confirmed an SCC of the right maxillary antrum, which unfortunately, could only be treated palliatively.

Clinical relevance: The reader should understand the classic findings for a maxillary antrum carcinoma. They should also increase their confidence and awareness in identifying red flag signs and symptoms.

Author notes: Prateek Biyani, BDS (Hons), MFDS RCPS(Glasg), Cert Med Ed, FHEA, Specialty Doctor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Chesterfield. Rachael Lundgren, BDS, MFDS RCPS(Glasg), Dental Officer, Mansfield Community Hospital. Alexandra Thompson, BDS, MFDS (RCSEd), DipConSed, MBChB, MRCS, Specialty Registrar in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. Robert Orr, BDS, MBChB, FDS RCS, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Chesterfield. email: prateek.biyani@nhs.net

Objective: The reader should understand the classic findings for a maxillary antrum carcinoma. They should also increase their confidence and awareness in identifying red flag signs and symptoms.

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