Cysts are abnormal cavities lined by a thin membrane that can form anywhere in the body. Teeth with certain conditions can produce cysts in the bone that surrounds them, known as odontogenic cysts. Although they are not as frequent conditions as others that can appear in the mouth, such as periodontitis or gingivitis, they can produce significant lesions in the teeth themselves or in the bone where it is forming, in addition to the potential to become tumors, for which its identification and timely elimination is essential. This FastlyHealarticle will explain dental cysts, their causes, types, and treatment.
Why dental cysts occur
In most cases, a cyst is one of the final stages in the evolution of a dental infection that has not been appropriately treated or has not been treated. In this evolution, the first lesion is a dental abscess that the body tries to control with the formation of a granuloma. When a granuloma is not treated, it develops a cavity inside and a membrane on the periphery, thus forming a cyst.
Another possibility is that cysts are formed due to some defect during the development of a tooth that causes the retention of fluid within a membrane that typically covers the tooth while it is inside the bone during its formation.
Types of dental cysts
There are a large number of cysts, although some are much more common than others:
- Periapical cyst: It is the result of a granuloma that was not adequately treated, and it forms in the final portion of the root of a tooth.
- Recurrent cyst: When a cyst is not eliminated after the affected tooth is extracted, it can re-form, producing this type of cyst
- A periodontal cyst resembles the first but appears on one side of the tooth’s root.
- Dentigerous cyst: Caused by the growth of a cavity inside a membrane that lines the crown of the teeth when they are inside the bone.
- Eruption cyst: It appears in children when the membrane that covers the height fills with fluid when the teeth try to erupt.
- Gingival cyst: Similar to the previous one, but occurs in adults.
- Newborn cyst: They appear on the gums of developing children and do not need any treatment.
Symptoms of dental cysts
Being a chronic condition, dental cysts do not produce symptoms in most cases, but they can cause discomfort and pain if they become infected. Cysts are cavities that can expand to considerable dimensions and do so at the expense of the bone, consuming it as they grow. Larger ones can cause significant bone loss and even create perforations.
When a dental cyst causes the loss of the bone that surrounds the teeth, they can acquire a considerable degree of mobility when the support is removed. Although dental cysts consume bone, they rarely consume any part of a tooth’s structure. What they can cause is the displacement of the teeth, being able to move them to spaces entirely away from the corresponding one and even preventing them from erupting by producing their retention within the bone when they appear at a very early age.
Bone loss can compromise neighboring structures such as the floor of the eye socket or the walls of the maxillary sinuses, which are part of the airways. It can also compress the nerves when close to them, producing alterations in touch perception.
Diagnosis of dental cysts
Inspection of the patient allows for detecting alterations that may be suggestive of a cyst, such as alteration of the shape of the bones, mobility and displacement of teeth or their absence without a previous history of extractions, and extensive caries in teeth without endodontic treatment that they have never been restored.
In general, the cysts are observed through a panoramic radiograph. However, once the cyst is found, a computed tomography scan is recommended to determine how its evolution and possible damage to nearby structures can be.
Treatment of dental cysts
The treatment of a dental cyst always consists of its elimination since these structures can produce bone loss that compromises the stability of neighboring teeth and has the potential to turn into malignant lesions.
The procedure by which it is removed will depend on the type of cyst. For example, in periapical cysts, it is necessary to do a root canal treatment in the affected tooth. Later, a procedure called apicoectomy is performed, which removes the cyst and the terminal portion of the root.
When the affected tooth is badly destroyed and has no chance of being restored, it is extracted, after which the cyst is removed, and the bone is cleaned. Periodontal cysts can be removed without treating the tooth since they are conditions that do not compromise them.
Some more complicated cases, such as dentigerous cysts, require a more extensive intervention to reach the affected tooth. In most cases, the tooth must also be removed, but it can be left for relocation through orthodontics when it has a good prognosis.
Some cysts, such as newborn and eruptive cysts, may not need any treatment if they do not produce alterations in the teeth.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.