3 Common Odontogenic Cysts – And How Your Dentist Can Help

Odontogenic cysts are tissue sacs that develop due to the growth or changing nature of a tooth structure. The cysts can contain fluid or feel fairly solid to the touch and often present with little to no pain in the early stages. But regular dental appointments and visits to an endodontics specialist can help catch an odontogenic cyst in its early stages before any potential pain or damage has begun.

Here are three common types of odontogenic cysts – and how your dentist can help.

Periapical Cyst

The roots of a tooth extend downwards from the root canal and into the jawbone. If the tooth becomes infected, that infected material can move down through the roots and lodge in the hard-to-reach root apexes within the jawbone. Periapical cysts can form on these apexes.

Periapical cysts tend to appear in patients from 30 to 60 years old as the cysts tend to latch on to teeth that are experiencing severe infections. The cyst itself might not present symptoms, but the infected tooth and possible associated fistula will cause discomfort and possible fluid leakage.   

The treatment for the periapical cyst will depend on the nature and level of tooth damage. If the tooth itself cannot be saved, your dentist will extract the tooth and its roots, thus removing the cyst. If the tooth can be saved, a root canal procedure followed by an apicoectomy – or tooth root removal – can take care of the cyst and prevent the cyst from coming back.

Dentigerous Cyst

Dentigerous cysts occur when a tooth that failed to erupt, nonetheless disturbs the surrounding tissue into forming a cyst. The tooth is often one of the wisdom teeth since this type of cyst presents in people between the ages of 20 and 40 who would already have the rest of the adult teeth erupted.

A dentigerous cyst is typically small and painless. But if the cyst continues to grow, neighboring teeth can be shifted and there is a potential that the cyst will grow downward and crack the jawbone. You might also experience oral and sinus infections stemming from fluid building up the cyst.

Your dentist can remove a dentigerous cyst surgically while also removing the underlying tooth. Failure to scrape out all of the cyst tissue, or to take out the underlying tooth, can lead to a recurrence of this type of cyst.

Calcifying Odontogenic Cyst

A calcifying cyst is actually a cystic non-cancerous tumor that tends to form during the early years of tooth eruption or after the age of 70. The cyst tends to grow slowly and without causing any pain. A patient might experience some discomfort and an altered bite if the cyst hardens In an area where adult teeth are emerging. As the cyst grows larger, you might experience a puss-like discharge in the area.

The calcified cyst can be cut out by your dentist after tests confirm that the cyst is benign and there are no signs of a larger health problem. The surrounding tissue will be scraped clean of any possible residual cyst tissue before the area is stitched shut for healing.

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