PERMENANT FIXED TEETH 002

JAW CYSTS
AND TUMORS

But if the cyst becomes infected, it can become painful.

A cyst is a sack or pouch which forms within tissues and contains fluid. This cyst is not cancerous growth. Cysts can develop in many places in the body. Around the face and mouth, they can develop under the skin, under the mouth lining, within the saliva glands, and within the jawbones.

There are different types of cysts within the jawbones.

  • The commonest type is called a periapical cyst. These develop around the roots of teeth usually as a result of a chronic infection.
  • Other cysts can develop around an uninterrupted tooth such as a wisdom tooth. These are called dentigerous cysts.

The final common group of jaw cysts develops from cells that form teeth. These are known as odontogenic cysts.

Jaw Cysts

How are Jaw Cysts Diagnosed?

Jaw cysts grow very slowly and in the vast majority of cases, patients do not have any symptoms. They are often discovered as incidental findings when x-rays are taken to look for other things. But if the cyst becomes infected, it can become painful.

Following an examination and x-rays, the surgeon will be able to establish a diagnosis. Sometimes when cysts are large or close to other structures it may be necessary to obtain a CT scan which gives a 3-D view and aids the surgery.

Jaw Cysts Diagnosed

How Urgent is it to Treat it?

Urgent is it to Treat it

If ignored for long periods, cysts can grow very large and can cause damage to adjacent teeth which can become loose. Very large cysts can also expand the jaw and, very occasionally, can be so big that they can weaken the jaw leading to a fracture. At a certain point, it can cause permanent disfigurement or loss of function also.

How are Jaw Cysts Treated?

The treatment for cysts is to remove them. This is done through a small incision inside the mouth and removal of part of the bone in the majority of cases. But sometimes, due to the size or location of the cyst, incision may have to be made outside the mouth too. Occasionally, when cysts are very large, it may be possible to treat them by surgical decompression.

Following the surgery, the cyst is sent to a specialist pathologist for examination under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

What type of anaesthetic will be used?

Jaw Cyst removed

Depending on the size and location of the cyst, and taking into account your general health and your previous experiences of having dental treatment, local or general anesthesia may be required.

What type of anaesthetic will be used?

Your surgeon will explain how to prepare for your procedure. For example,

  • If you smoke, you will be advised to stop as this significantly increases your risk of wound infection, slowing your recovery.
  • Some types of medication you take may also require special consideration.
  • If you are having a local anaesthetic then you can eat and drink as normal beforehand though we advise that you keep your meals light. You can even drive to and from your appointment though it is usually best (and nice) to bring a friend or relative with you.

If you are having a general anaesthetic, you will be asked to follow fasting instructions, which means not eating or drinking for some hours before the procedure. You will be given specific instructions before your admission date.

  • You will need to rest until the main effects of the anaesthetic (local or general) have worn off.
  • After a local anesthetic, you will usually be able to go home straight after the procedure has been carried out.
  • If you had a general anesthetic, you will need to stay in the hospital for the first 24 hours in case you experience problems and need help.
  • You will be given instructions about looking after your mouth when you go home and suitable pain medication and appropriate antibiotics or mouthwashes to take home. You will also be given the date for a follow-up appointment.
  • Stitches are removed around a week after surgery.

What happens after surgery?

happens after surgery

Recovery from your procedure

  • You should expect some discomfort initially. There may be some facial swelling, bruising, pain, or jaw stiffness for up to two weeks. These symptoms are usually at their worst for the first two or three days and then gradually improve.
  • Do not vigorously rinse out your mouth during the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can rinse gently after meals with warm salt water (half a teaspoon of table salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water).
  • You should brush your teeth as usual, but keep your toothbrush away from the healing wound for the first couple of days.
  • To begin with, you should eat soft foods, gradually returning to your usual diet once your jaw feels more comfortable.

Jaw cyst removal is commonly performed and generally safe. However, to make an informed decision and give your consent, you need to be aware of the possible side effects and the risk of complications from this procedure. Most of these are the unwanted, but mostly temporary, effects of a successful treatment, for example feeling sick as a result of a general anaesthetic, swelling, or bruising, but can include more significant problems such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Accidental damage to other teeth and your jaw during your operation
  • Numbness in your lower lip or tongue, or changes to taste – this can be caused by nerve damage and there is a small chance that this could be permanent

Jaw stiffness – it is possible that you may not be able to open your mouth fully for a while.

The exact risks will differ for every person and some may be more specific to your case. This is why the initial consultation is so important, your surgeon will be able to assess the risks for you and advise you accordingly.

Risks & Complications

Risks & Complications

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