What is it?

Jaw tumors and cysts, or odontogenic tumors and cysts, are quite rare lesions that occur in the jaw bone or either in the soft tissue of the mouth. These growths are usually benign, but can invade the tissue surrounding the bone. It may include:
-Ameloblastoma- common, slow growing, typically benign tumor. It usually grows on the side of the jaw that is closest to the molar teeth, and may invade close structures. Has a tendency to recur after treatment, a surgery lessens the risk.
- Central giant cell granuloma- a benign lesion, usually growing on the front side of the lower jaw. It grows rapidly, and can destroy the bone, causing pain. Also has the tendency to recur, and typically requires surgery.
- Dentigerous cyst- the most common cyst, growing from tissue surrounding the tooth. Typically, they appear around the wisdom tooth, not fully erupted, and then it opens up into the mouth.
- Odontogenic keratocyst- it is a benign and slow growing cyst, typically growing near the molars on the lower jaw. It can destroy tissue and it has a tumor-like tendency to grow back after treatment. It is more common in people with an inherited condition called nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.
- Odontogenic myxoma- a rare benign tumor that occurs typically in the lower jaw, can be very aggressive to the bone and tissue surrounding it. Tend to recur after treatment.
- Odontoma is the most common odontogenic tumor, it is benign and has symptoms. It grows around the tooth and may interfere with its development.
Cysts may also develop from nonodontogenic origin, historically termed "fissural" as they were thought to arise from entrapped epithelium during embryogenesis.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Endodontic Underfill
- Endodontic Overfill
- Inflammation of Jaw
- Abscess of hard palate
- Abscess of jaw
- Abscess of mandible
- Abscess of maxilla
- Osteitis of jaw
- Osteomyelitis of jaw
- Osteomyelitis of mandible
- Osteomyelitis of maxilla
- Periostitis of jaw
- Central Giant Cell Granuloma
- Developmental Odontogenic Cysts
- Eruption cyst
- Odontogenic cyst
- Odontogenic keratocyst
- Primordial cyst
- Alveolitis of Jaw
- Perforation of Root Canal Space
- Fissural Cysts of Jaw
- Exostosis of Jaw
- Maxillary tori
- Torus mandibularis
- Torus palatinus
- Torus maxillaris

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include pain, a lump felt, discharges into the mouth, loosened teeth, red-white patches in the mouth, recurrent bleeding, bad breath, dentures that no longer fit and swelling.


Diagnosis of jaw tumors or cysts may include imaging studies such as an X-ray, CT or MRI. A biopsy can also be taken from the lesion.


Treatment depends on the type of lesion, its stage and the patient’s symptoms. Usually, the treatment will be surgical. Other treatment may include reconstruction of the jawbone, medications and supportive care.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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