Actinomyces-induced Osteomyelitis of the Mandible: A Rare Disease


Central and West Texas


Las Palmas Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



actinomyces, actinomycosis, commensal organism, immunocompromised, jaw osteomyelitis, penicillin


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Infectious Disease | Internal Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Musculoskeletal Diseases


BACKGROUND: Actinomyces species are commensal oral cavity flora that can cause jaw osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis of the jaw by Actinomyces is rare, and its presentation can be confused with many different pathologies.

CASE PRESENTATION: This is the case of a 61-year-old female with breast cancer and on chemotherapy as well as non-invasive carcinoma of the tongue who initially presented to the dentist with white spots in the right mandible near the incisors associated with right mandible pain and swelling. Actinomyces-induced osteomyelitis of the mandible was diagnosed. The patient was treated with penicillin V for 6 weeks along with a course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which resulted in the complete resolution of the infection.

CONCLUSION: In summary, jaw osteomyelitis caused by Actinomyces should always be part of the differential diagnosis; as these organisms are commensal flora, the symptoms manifested are nonspecific, and such a diagnosis could be easily missed, resulting in delay of care and disease progression.

Publisher or Conference

Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets