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Jaw Cysts: Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Jaw cysts are the cavities that are full of fluid. They can occur around the roots of your teeth or wisdom teeth. They are not cancerous.

Why do jaw cysts form?

Jaw cysts mostly do form because of infection of tooth which is broken, has large caries or cavity. Impacted tooth is another reason of jaw cysts. Some cysts are formed by the cells which has originally attended formation of the teeth.

Which problems may jaw cysts cause?

Most jaw cysts grow very slowly and do not cause any symptoms, and are discovered on routine dental radiographs. Jaw cysts are sac-like structures that may be filled with gas, liquid, or solid materials. Cysts in jaws enlarge as the cyst fluids increase and that the intracystic fluid pressure on the jaw bones increases because of inflammation. They can enlarge, causing bone expansion and even pathologic fractures. Cysts may get infected and when this happens it can be very painful. As the cyst dimensions increase, the adjacent teeth may get damaged or loose. A dental cyst may clinically emerge as follows:

  • Pain

  • Swelling of the face or jaw

  • Movement and loosening of teeth

  • Displacement of impacted teeth

  • Damage to teeth, as the cyst expands it may cause resorption of the roots of teeth

  • Bone destruction due to pressure from the expanding dental cyst

  • Red colour to the skin, pain, increasing swelling, enlarged glands and raised temperature when the cyst becomes infected

  • Infection or dental abscess

  • Numb/ tingling feeling in the lips or face

What treatment will I need?

The usual treatment is to remove the cyst, usually with the adjacent or impacted tooth. Most cysts do not have recurrence and once removed the problem is resolved. All cysts must be sent for histological examination to determine the exact nature of the cyst.

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