120 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
SORES ON THE FACE
Whenever you see a sore on a person’s cheek or under his chin, remember
there may be a tooth or gum problem. If it is a gum problem, it may be
Noma. See the following pages.
A bad tooth:
Ask him to open his mouth.
Look for an infected tooth in
the area of the sore.There
may be a large cavity and the
tooth may be loose.
Or the tooth may be darker
in color than the others.
This is because it is dead.
The pus is draining onto
the skin, so the pressure
is reduced and the person
does not complain of pain.
1. Take out the tooth (see Chapter 11).
2. Give penicillin for 7 days (see page 94).
3. After the penicillin treatment, check the sore. If it has healed, there is
no longer infection inside. The treatment is finished.
But if the sore is still open and you can squeeze out pus, you will need the
help of experienced health workers who can:
• test the pus to see if it is resistant to penicillin. The person may
need to take a different antibiotic.
• take an X-ray to see if there are dead pieces of bone which are
keeping the infection alive. If there are, they must be removed.
If infected gums (and not a bad tooth) are the cause of a sore on the cheek
or chin, the problem is more serious. See the next 4 pages.