Just to clear the air, Ludwig van Beethoven neither was victim of Ludwig angina nor was it named after him. In fact, it was named after the German physician Wilhelm Friedrich von Ludwig and Beethoven is thought to have died from severe liver damage and excessive lead levels. Besides,angina Ludwig is often attributed to oral piercing like tongue studs that, in Beethoven's time, was unheard of in polite society.
What Is ludwig's angina?
Unfortunately, angina ludwig can lead to your death even when it was caused only be a simple dental infection. (Yes, your mother was right. Dentists are your friends.) Basically, it is a cellulitis infection of the tissues of the floor of the mouth, which may or may not be caused by your tongue stud. Ludwig's angina must not be confused with the angina of the heart. However, the feeling of painful strangling around the throat does closely mimic that of angina around the chest area.
What Causes ludwigs angina?
Usually, Ludwig angina starts with a bacterial infection caused by the strep bacteria although other species may also be at fault. The infection will often start from an infected lower third molar or from an infection of the gums surrounding an erupted lower third molar. Thus, if you experience tooth pain, bleeding gums, swelling at the jaw's angles and teeth sensitivity to hot and cold foods, then it is time to see your doctor or your dentist. And if you wish to have your tongue pierced, do remember that it can lead to Ludwig's angina. Did we mention that your oral vanity can lead to death? Yes, we believe we did with Ludwig's angina.
What Are ludwigs angina Symptoms?
Other symptoms aside from the abovementioned signs are:
* Swelling and pain of the tongue
* Swelling of the neck area as well as the so-called submandibular and sublingual spaces
* General feeling of discomfort, which word geeks know as malaise
* Fever, which needs no explanation whatsoever
* Difficulty in swallowing even your saliva, which doctors call dysphagia
* Difficulty breathing, or known by physicians in their language as stridor
Well, of course, these symptoms may be attributed to other illnesses so it is always best to see your doctor for a definitive diagnosis and, consequently, for effective treatment.
What Are Its Treatment ludwigs Options?
Fortunately, Ludwig's angina does have its effective treatment options if and when provided early. Again, the emphasis is to see your doctor to determine the best treatment path as you want to avoid complications and death.
FYou will be prescribed appropriate antibiotics to fight off the bacterial infection as well as painkillers to lessen the pain. If your case is a severe one, your doctor will monitor your airways to make breathing easier. Also, you may be required to undergo surgery to drain the bacterial collections as well as to incise the infected tooth. Third, your doctor will perform skilled airway management lest you choke to death, sort of.
As life-threatening as Ludwig angina can be, modern medicine has made it possible to treat it. The most important part, of course, in treating Ludwig angina is to prevent its occurrence when and where possible - do look after your oral health and don't do anything to your oral parts that introduce piercing like oral studs. Your ears are there for that reason, among other functions.