Oral cysts or tumors are medically known as odontogenic cysts or tumors. These are a rare form of oral lesions that develop in the jawbone or in the soft tissues of the oral cavity (inner lips, inner cheeks, tongue, back of the throat, palate, etc.).
Oral cysts and tumors are usually non-cancerous, benign tumors. But when they expand in size and severity, these cysts can affect the surrounding bones and tissues and can even displace teeth. If left untreated, these cysts can affect the natural alignment of your teeth lead to other complications like oral infections, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
It is to be noted that odontogenic cysts are more common as compared to odontogenic tumors. According to one research study, odontogenic cysts affect the third molars 4.4% of the time, whereas odontogenic tumors affect the third molars only 0.5% of the time.
Even though the exact cause of oral cyst remains to be unknown, oral surgeons believe that the following factors could lead to the development of oral cysts in a patient.
Oral cysts and tumors are said to be a result of genetic disorders. Due to genetic mutations, the cells are instructed to multiply at an abnormal rate, and this causes a cluster of extra cells to lump together in the form of a tumor. These cells are the cells that are involved in the development of teeth. But because an overgrowth of cells occurs, and these non-cancerous cells slowly spread to gum tissues, the affected tooth neither erupts nor develops.
It was observed that people who are affected by nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, also known as Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, are more at the risk of oral tumors and cysts because patients with this syndrome are unable to suppress tumor formation in their body. Gorlin-Goltz syndrome is hereditary, and it can result in the occurrence of multiple odontogenic keratocysts in the jaw bone and soft tissues.
Odontogenic cysts are also seen to be a result of inflammation when the tooth is erupting or developing. When the developing tooth is affected by a gum infection that causes inflammation in the gums, the tooth development ceases. This dead tooth takes the form of a cyst inside the gums and remains there until it is surgically removed. A minor tissue surgery is done to cut open the gum tissue and extract the dead tooth.
According to a research article, it is still unclear why the inflammation hampers the development of tooth, but children and adults who have gingivitis are more at risk of odontogenic cysts.
If you can feel lumps or cysts in your jaws or oral cavity, please visit us at Henderson Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, and let Dr. Huang examine you. A timely diagnosis can save you from serious medical complications in the future. Call us now to schedule your appointment.