Osteomyelitis with subperiosteal abscess of the frontal bone, or Pott’s puffy tumor (PPT), is a rare but life-threatening condition. The relationship of concurrent dental disease to PPT has not been well described. This study sought to delineate the incidence of odontogenic disease in PPT, especially in cases where there is no history of facial trauma or prior frontal sinus surgery.
A retrospective chart review of patients diagnosed with PPT between 2010 and 2019 was carried out. Demographics, pertinent medical history, surgical procedures performed, and microbial cultures and antibiotics used were extracted for analysis. Maxillofacial computed tomography scans were reviewed for presence of odontogenic disease.
A total of 17 patients were identified. Four had documented history of frontal bone trauma; three had previous frontal sinus surgery. Seven (41%) had documented odontogenic disease on initial radiology reports; however, upon dentist review, sixteen (94%) had various pathology visible on their computed tomography scans. Twelve of these sixteen patients had no previous frontal sinus trauma or surgery. Eight patients (47%) had only ipsilateral maxillary or ethmoid inflammation respective to PPT on computed tomography. Seventy-six percent of patients underwent endoscopic sinus surgery. Of fourteen patients with cultures collected at the time of surgery, seven (50%) had polymicrobial growth and six (43%) had anaerobic growth.
The incidence of odontogenic disease in this population of PPT was 94%. In the absence of a history of frontal bone trauma or frontal sinus surgery, underlying dental origin should be suspected in cases of PPT. Initial radiology reports may not document all identifiable dental pathology. Therefore, patients presenting with PPT should undergo comprehensive evaluation, including an oral cavity and dental examination, and potential referral to dental colleagues.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.