NF is a serious soft-tissue infection that is characterized by rapidly progressive necrosis of the subcutaneous tissue and superficial fascia. It is often associated with systemic toxicity, and, in a significant number of cases, is fatal. The pathogenic organisms implicated in the disease include Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Enterobacteria, and a variety of anaerobes. Treatment involves wide local surgical debridement supported by intravenous antibiotics and other supportive treatment. The mortality rate in the setting of optimal treatment is 30% to 50%, and ranges from 80% to 100% for infections which were untreated or did not receive early intervention. Though NF in the head and neck is rare, patients may present with symptoms of odontogenic infections, and vigilance must be maintained to ensure that prompt and aggressive treatment is initiated.
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