Certain bacteria cause actinomycosis. They are normal in the mouth and sometimes in the bowels. They get into the body through breaks in the tissues. Tooth decay causes infections in the mouth and jaw. This is the most common type.
This infection is more common in men. Actinomycosis may be more common after:
Problems with teeth and gums or dental work
Saliva, food, or drink getting into lungs
Long-lasting lung disease
Intrauterine device (IUD), especially if it has been in for a long time without medical check
There is also a higher risk of infection in people with:
Weak immune system
Malnourishment—problem getting proper nutrition
Symptoms depend on the where the infection starts. They may involve:
Swelling in the mouth, neck, or jaw
Pus with tiny, yellowish specks
Pus that drains through the skin
Swelling or a hard lump in the belly
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Other tests may include:
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