"Phossy Jaw" is an osteonecrosis affecting the jaws of people exposed to white or yellow phosphorus. The condition was an occupational hazard that disappeared after the use of phosphorus was banned from certain industries.


Clinical features:

(1) The condition was relatively common in matchmakers when white or yellow phosphorus was used.

(2) The condition usually occurred after several years of exposure but could develop in months.

(3) The patient suffered extensive necrosis of the maxilla and/or mandible.

(4) The presence of carious teeth was a risk factor.

(5) Complications included disfigurement, severe pain and a foul odor.

(6) Death often occurred as a result of secondary infection leading to sepsis or meningitis.


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