Jaw cysts and tumours can develop in the upper or lower jaw bone and can affect anyone from children to adults. Cysts and tumours can develop as a single lesion or as multiple lesions in the upper and lower jaws.
They usually go unnoticed when they are small but some might progress to significant swelling of the jaws which then prompt patients to seek consultation. Because of their generally slow growth, most cases are discovered through x-rays either during routine checks or during investigation of other problems in the jaws.
Below are some of the signs and symptoms that might occur with jaw cysts and tumours:
The lesions can arise from odontogenic (tooth related) or nonodontogenic causes. Most lesions are developmental but some of the multiple lesion types can be hereditary in nature.
A biopsy (whereby a sample of the tissue is taken for study) is usually indicated for accurate diagnosis of the lesions.
X-rays and CT scans can be used to assess the severity of jaw cysts and tumours.
Treatment of jaw cysts and tumours usually require a surgery for removal. The surgery can range from simple removal of the lesion and/or part of the jawbone which will require reconstruction (refer to Head & Neck Reconstruction). Treatment might be indicated for the teeth involved in the form of extractions or root canal treatment.