Cysts and Tumors of the Jawbones

Treatment of cysts and tumors of the jaws and facial skeleton (also called Odontogenic Cysts and Tumors) are a common part of my practice (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 70:2118-2123, 2013).

When and Where we see Cysts and Tumors

We see odontogenic cysts and tumors most commonly associated with impacted teeth such as third molars/wisdom teeth. In many cases, these cysts or tumors are found on a routine dental examination and were otherwise not symptomatic. They typically are confined to the jawbones and will spread in the marrow space. Many become quite extensive and can involve large areas of the jaws if left untreated. In some rare cases, cysts and tumors will extend outside of the jawbone into the facial and oral tissues.

In most cases, we intercept cysts and tumors early and are able to treat them conservatively with removal and repair of the area. Certain types of these lesions are more prone to spread and/or reoccur, and therefore require more extensive treatment. It is rare for odontogenic lesions to be or become cancerous. A biopsy is performed when needed.

Seek Treatment When you Find a Growth

Early treatment is important. I am surprised at how many cases I see where the “growth” was discovered on a routine examination and was then just “watched” for a year or two. At that point it is much more extensive and the treatment can be much more debilitating. However rare, odontogenic lesions can even transform into more serious types of growths or tumors and even cancer.

What to do if you Find a Growth

If you have a suspicious area noted on a dental exam, or if you have symptoms of swelling, bone expansion, or a feeling of “fullness” or other unusual symptoms such as dull pain, make sure to get it evaluated. We are here to help you. Schedule a visit to our Racine oral surgery office by calling (262) 634-4646.

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