A dental cyst is a fluid, tissue or air-filled sac that can form within the jawbone. The first step in determining the right treatment course is to identify the type and location of the cyst, then your oral surgeon can decide what steps to take and if surgical removal is the right option.
What’s the Danger?
Dental cysts can occupy space in the jaw and slowly expand, sometimes pushing teeth out of position or even causing them to become loose. Large growths can lead to bone loss or a bone fracture. When they press on nerves, cysts could cause your face and gums to become numb.
While dental cysts can form due to a tooth or mouth injury, they most commonly result from an infection. Some of these infections can be traced back to the buildup of plaque and bacteria. These can lead to cavities, which can lead to the decay of the tooth’s inner pulp.
This opens the door for a periapical cyst to form at the root. This is also called a radicular, apical periodontal, or root end cyst.
The second most common type is called a dentigerous cyst. This type forms around the tissue of an unerupted tooth. They are usually found around wisdom teeth and can cause bone loss. Dentigerous cysts must be extracted along with the wisdom teeth.
Signs and Symptoms of a Cyst
Dental cysts typically are not painful, and therefore they are not often noticed right away. Many dental cysts are discovered during a routine checkup when X-rays are taken.
You may feel discomfort only when they begin to put pressure on the gums and teeth. But when a cyst becomes infected, it can swell and become painful, and pressure can build up quickly.
Whether you’ve discovered you have dental cysts through a routine diagnostic test or because the area has become painful over time, you should schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon right away.
During your consultation, the surgeon will explain the extent of the surgical process necessary based on the size and location of the cyst. Usually, removal involves a small incision and you will be administered either local or general anesthesia.
The recovery process is typically completed within a few weeks, once the wound site heals and all stiffness and numbness disappears.
Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery diagnoses and treat all types of dental cysts. If you think you may have a dental cyst, call and schedule a consultation today.