Jaw Cysts Removal
What Is a Jaw Cyst? What You Need to Know:
A jaw cyst is a fluid-filled ball of tissue that can develop in the jaws due to impacted teeth and for other reasons not fully understood but likely related to the fact that teeth develop in the jawbones. Cysts expand, resorbing the jawbone and displacing and or damaging surrounding teeth. Solid masses or tumors which differ from cysts can grow in the jaw as well, causing possible tooth and jawbone loss. Cysts can grow quite large and get infected and/or cause the jaw to fracture due to severe bone resorption.
Jaw cysts grow in the upper and lower jawbone and span a wide range of sizes and levels of severity. Cysts are often associated with impacted wisdom teeth. A cyst can start forming at any age, but often are not detected until they become larger, symptomatic, or are found on an Xray such as a Panorex, taken most often to evaluate wisdom teeth for removal in teenagers. In rare instances, these growths can become invasive and disruptive to your soft tissue, jawbone, and teeth.
Dr. Rendulich and the team at The Center For Oral Surgery & Dental Implants treat cysts and tumors in the jaw and mouth. The most common treatment is to remove them surgically. If you have a cyst or lesion in your mouth or jaw, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rendulich.
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What Causes Jaw Cysts?
The cells and tissue from which common jaw cysts form are likely the ones necessary for the development of healthy teeth, however, other types of jaw cysts and tumors can develop from other sources. One of the most common causes of jaw cysts is not removing your impacted wisdom teeth.
In rare circumstances, the cause of jaw cysts can be linked to genetic predispositions that prevent the body from suppressing tumor growth, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. But, in most cases, jaw and mouth cysts are benign and do not develop into aggressive tumors.
Jaw Cyst Symptoms and Signs
Cysts are liquid or semisolid-filled lesions, whereas tumors are solid growths of diseased tissue cells. You should be evaluated by your Oral Surgeon if any of these symptoms or findings arise:
- Your Dentist says you have something abnormal looking in your jawbone on an Xray
around an impacted wisdom tooth or below your erupted teeth inside your jawbones themselves.
- Tooth sensitivity
- Swelling inside the mouth and around teeth
- Displacement of teeth
- Gaps forming between displaced teeth
- A small and sensitive bump where a tooth should erupt
Benign cysts can be small and cause no symptoms. You will probably notice the symptoms listed above when a cyst grows larger.
Do I Need to Have Jaw Cysts Removed?
Jaw cysts and tumors can be benign or malignant and if left untreated grow large causing destruction and loss of jawbone and teeth. They can also cause severe infections and spread into other areas of the head and neck requiring extensive and complicated treatment. Therefore, it is best to have an evaluation if you suspect you have a jaw cyst /tumor or have been told by your dentist you have something on your Xray that looks suspicious (cyst or tumor) and you need to have it evaluated. Schedule an appointment with your dentist, or oral surgeon as soon as you notice an abnormal growth in your jaw or mouth.
Dr. Rendulich will examine you and likely recommend a special type of CAT scan that he can do in his office called a Cone Beam CAT scan. This type of X-ray is often best to determine the size, extent, and exact location of the lesion to help determine the best course of action-often either a biopsy or complete removal. Even though the Cone Beam CT is a CAT Scan, it is less radiation than a traditional CAT scan done in the hospital.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are the recognized experts in treating jaw cyst/tumors. Dr. Rendulich has had extensive training in his residency at Georgetown University Medical Center with leading experts in the field and has treated many jaw cysts and tumors over his 23 years of private practice.