Osteomyelitis of the jaws is an uncommon infection of the maxillofacial area. The disease is often difficult to diagnose, and thus delays in treatment are common, increasing its morbidity. The clinical, radiographic, and laboratory findings of the disease; its forms; and treatment modalities are reviewed. Suggestions for contemporary diagnosis and surgical treatment of acute and chronic suppurative osteomyelitis are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.