How Common Are Oral Cysts?

Oral cysts are small fluid-filled growths that occur in the mouth. Most commonly found on the inside of the lips, cysts can also develop on the inside of the cheeks, tongue, palate, mouth floor, and around oral piercings.

In most cases, oral cysts are harmless and are typically the result of tooth problems or distressed gums. Though certain cysts can contain infectious bacteria if formed around the roots of infected or dead teeth, within the gums, surrounding impacted wisdom teeth, in the sinuses, or the jawbone. Some cysts are also a symptom of another underlying health issue.

What Oral Health Problems Do Cysts Cause?

Once discovered, patients should visit an oral surgeon as soon as possible, as oral cysts could be a sign of a serious health issue that may be prevented if treated early. Oral cysts may cause:

  • Pain and swelling if infected.
  • Teeth movement as the cyst grows and pushes teeth aside.
  • Weaking of the jawbone due to cyst growth.
  • Breathing and sleep problems if the cyst is located in the sinuses.

Are There Different Types of Oral Cysts?

The most common types of oral cysts include:

  • Periapical cysts: Also referred to as odontogenic, radicular, apical periodontal, or root end cysts, the periapical cyst is the most common. This type is the result of the death of pulp tissue inside a tooth stemming from decay or injury and causes inflammation and toxin release at the root tip.
  • Follicular or dentigerous cysts: Follicular cysts are most commonly found around the lower wisdom teeth or upper canines, developing at the crown of an impacted tooth due to pressure the unerupted tooth puts on the follicle. The pressure interrupts blood flow and accumulates fluid between the crown of the tooth and the enamel membrane tissue.
  • Keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOTs): The development of KCOTs occur in the back area of the lower jaw or mandible and are similar to cysts. Biopsies, microscopic analysis, or panoramic X-rays are often required to determine diagnosis.

How Are Oral Cysts Treated?

Oral cysts are generally treated through surgery to remove cysts or tumors, and endodontic therapy in conjunction with surgery if the cyst is the result of an infected root canal. You should never attempt to excise a cyst yourself at home, as doing so can result in in jury or a serious infection that could lead to serious oral conditions. As most cysts are harmless, they often rupture safely on their own in time with no complications.

During assessment, your oral surgeon will diagnose the type of cyst and discuss treatment options with you. If your cyst requires root canal treatment, this procedure will be performed prior to the cyst surgery. You will receive thorough scaling and polishing and be provided an oral probiotic to increase the beneficial bacteria in saliva to ensure better healing after the surgery. During your appointment, surgical instructions will be given to you.

You will be given a local anesthetic or sedation for the surgery. During surgery, your surgeon will remove the cyst. One or more teeth may also be removed if embedded within the cyst. Following removal, bone grafting material may be administered to fill the void where the cyst was located and the gums closed by stitches, which will be removed a few days later.

South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Treat Patients With Oral Cysts

Oral cysts are common, usually harmless, and often go away on their own. However, if you have a cyst that is causing pain or swelling, it is best to consult an oral surgeon. Contact our South Jersey oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to learn more. Call us today at 856-582-4222 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, New Jersey, we are dedicated to helping patients throughout South Jersey.

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