A cyst is a space-occupying lesion with an outer wall of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds a central cavity called the cyst lumen. On the inner aspect of the wall, there is a lining of the epithelium. It most commonly occurs in the jaw near the molars, which is known as Jaw Cysts. Cysts and tumours have the following in common:
- The space occupied by them may displace or replace normal tissues.
- They may push the teeth out of their normal alignment.
- They may compress nerves and cause numbness.
- Cysts and tumours generally do not interfere with the blood supply to the teeth.
- Some cysts and tumours are radiographically similar and microscopic diagnosis may be required to make the diagnosis.
Types of Jaw cysts
The World Health Organization groups dental lesions into odontogenic and non-odontogenic cysts.
- Odontogenic Cysts
These cysts occur either as a result of inflammation or necrosis of the pulp tissue. On radiographic imaging, these lesions measure less than one centimetre in diameter and are radiolucent in the periapical area with a fairly round shape.
Examples: Eruption, follicular, gingival and glandular odontogenic cysts.
- Non-odontogenic Cysts
These are the remnants of epithelium and the embryonic ducts that are left behind after embryogenesis. These cysts tend to be found deep in the areas of the epithelial ridges and walls of embryogenesis, as well as as the fissures and clefts.
They can arise with or without inflammation. Examples: nasolabial and nasopalatine duct cysts.
Jaw Cyst Symptoms
- Ameloblastoma: This is a relatively common, slow-growing, typically noncancerous (benign) tumour. It develops most frequently within the jaw close to the molars and might invade native structures like bone and soft tissue. This tumour can reappear after treatment; however, aggressive surgical treatments will typically reduce the chance of recurrence.
- Central huge cell granuloma: Central large cell granulomas are benign lesions that majorly occur within the front portion of the lower jaw. Some of these tumours can grow quickly, can cause pain and destroy bone, and have a tendency to recur after surgical treatment. The other types are less aggressive and will not have symptoms. Rarely, a tumour may shrink or resolve on its own, but typically these tumours require surgical treatment.
- Dentigerous cyst: This cyst originates from tissue that surrounds a tooth before it erupts into the mouth. This is the foremost common type of cyst that affects the jaws. Most often these cysts can also arise around wisdom teeth that are not completely erupted, but they can also involve other teeth.
- Odontogenic keratocyst: Also denoted to as keratocystic odontogenic tumour because of its tumour-like tendency to recur after surgical treatment, this slow-growing, benign cyst can be destructive to local structures. Most often the cyst develops in the lower jaw near the third molars. These cysts may be found in people with an inherited genetic condition referred to as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.
- Odontogenic myxoma: This is a rare, slow-growing, benign tumour that occurs most often in the lower jaw. The tumour can be large and aggressively invade the jaw and surrounding tissue and displaced teeth. Odontogenic myxomas are known to recur after surgical treatment; however, the chances of tumour recurrence are typically lessened by aggressive surgical treatment.
- Odontoma: This benign tumour is the most common odontogenic tumour. Odontomas often have no symptoms, but may interfere with tooth development or eruption. Odontomas are made up of dental tissue that grows around a tooth in the jaw. They can resemble an oddly shaped tooth or can be a small or large calcified tumour. These tumours may be part of some genetic syndromes.
- Other types of cysts and tumours: These comprises adenomatoid odontogenic tumours, calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumours, ameloblastic fibromas, squamous odontogenic tumours, calcifying odontogenic cysts, cementoblastomas, ossifying fibromas, osteoblastoma and central odontogenic fibromas to name a few.
Cause of Jaw Cysts
Cysts originate from cells and tissues that are involved in natural tooth development. Other tumours that affect the jaws can be nonodontogenic, that is, they can develop from other tissues inside the jaws that are not related to the teeth. Generally, the cause of jaw tumours and cysts is not known; however, some can be associated with genetic syndromes.
If you’re having problem or complications with the cyst, it is recommended to visit an experienced dentist.
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