Stages of submasseteric space infection: a pictorial review

Husam Wassati, Vincent Lam, Amy Barnes, Gibran Timothy Yusuf, Ram Vaidhyanath


The submasseteric space is described as merely a potential closed place between the mandible and the masseter muscle. However, in situations where infective organisms find their way to this space, it would provide a protected environment for the development of occult infection. Infection within the submasseteric space is rare, often chronic and commonly misdiagnosed or missed. Recognising this potential space infection which is commonly dental in origin and identifying its important clinical and radiological findings, are essential for an appropriate and timely diagnosis and management that usually requires surgical drainage to alleviate the symptoms.


Our objective in this article is to describe the anatomy of the submasseteric space and present a pictorial review describing the clinical and radiological features of the infection in the acute, subacute and chronic stages.


Submasseteric space, odontogenic infection, pericoronitis, MRI, CT, phlegmon

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