Oral Pathology


Jaw Cysts and Tumors

Jaw cysts and tumors are both space occupying lesions in the jaws, more commonly in the lower jaw. Cysts have a central lumen or cavity often fulled with fluid or blood, while tumors are normally solid growths. Both are usually slow growing so they are normally painless. Most people only find out during their routine dental examinations or when the lesions become  large enough to expand bone.

Some jaw cysts and tumors can cause adjacent teeth to move out of their normal alignment, sometimes even causing them to melt away along with their supporting bone. Cysts generally do not interrupt the blood supply to teeth so usually teeth remain unaffected after treatment. While tumors don't interfere with teeth blood supply directly, some teeth may be lost during treatment to ensure the complete removal of the lesion. The lost dentition can normally be replaced with dental implants at a later date. 

Some cysts and tumors can look very similar on X-rays, so a small biopsy are usually required to make the diagnosis. The procedures are usually very straight forward and only require a quick local anaesthetic. The management of your jaw cyst or tumor will depend on the type and behaviour of the particular lesion, we will explain it to you in detail once the diagnosis is made.