Cysts in the jaw region are one of the disorders most frequently encountered in dental medicine, although a cyst forming is not something that is immediately noticeable. Since they do not cause pain to the affected person in the early stages and normally are benign, cysts are often detected late by which time their removal is usually advisable. The tissue changes caused by cysts in the jaw can lead to chronic tooth misalignment or painful jaw movements, so that many patients decide to have the cysts removed with a small, surgical procedure.
About cysts on the human jaw
Cysts can be a problem, especially for middle-aged patients. They occur in men more frequently than in women. Cysts take various forms so that the anomaly does not follow a classic course. They normally involve a small sac with a watery interior that grows over the years and displaces normal tissue. The jaw cyst may be located directly on the jawbone and can affect the fleshy tissue surrounding it. When they are very small, cysts cause practically no discomfort; at this stage, the displacement of healthy cell tissue is hardly noticeable. A much larger cyst will be unpleasant and may cause pain, so that cyst removal recommends itself.
Dental tissue cysts: a special problem
Most of these cysts develop on teeth root tips as the result of infection, for example, after a root canal treatment. Patients feeling pain from an existing infection will not recognize the cyst’s growth as a newly developing, separate problem. The cyst grows due to the continual stimulation of the sensitive, irritated periodontal membrane. In this case, its removal is no longer a task just for the dentist.
Before removing any cyst, the oral surgeon has to form a picture of the type of cyst he is dealing with and of how it involves the surrounding tissue. If the stems from an infected tooth root or dental pulp, the infection must be stopped before the cyst can be removed. Cyst removal in that case is accompanied by a coordinated antibiotic therapy designed to eradicate existing infections and thereby lower the risk of cysts forming in the future.
Cysts that do not originate in an infection of exposed root necks or tips are also candidates for removal. In these cases, removal is somewhat more complicated, since the cysts are usually first discovered in an X-ray and then must be removed by surgically separating the jawbone. This procedure is recommended only if these cysts produce strong discomfort in the jaw region, since a slight portion of the jaw must be removed with potential harmful effects on healthy teeth.