Bone cysts of the jaws

When talking about oral health, this category includes not only the teeth, but also the structures around them such as the gums, bones, muscles and soft tissues covering them.

Often, a pathology that becomes manifest in the teeth has as its starting point other structures, located deep down.

The body makes multiple connections between its different structures, so when one of them suffers a pathology, pain or changes can be felt throughout the region.

The maxillary and mandibular bones are the hard structures of the lower face. They give contour to the lower half of the face and support muscles and soft tissues that would not be able to support themselves.

The protrusions of the jaw bones called alveoli are the hard structures in which the tooth is encased and then held in position by periodontal fibers.

Cysts are one of the many forms of damage to the jawbone and manifest as benign tumors.

On routine X-rays they can be detected without great difficulty as they appear as a dark cavity, usually homogeneous in appearance and round in shape. Healthy bone is radiologically white, so any dark bone cavity can be diagnosed as a bone cyst until proven otherwise.

At other times, cavities in the jawbone may be malignant tumors, but their appearance differs, being characterized by inhomogeneity and an irregular contour with edges that may not be well defined.

There are two types of jawbone cysts:

Odontogenic – these are those cysts that occur in connection with dental pathology. The pathology course until it reaches the bone cyst level is long.

Thus, in most cases it starts with a carious process. Untreated, it gradually spreads to the pulp chamber of the tooth.

As it approaches the pulp chamber, the pain increases.

If medical intervention is not taken, the tooth loses its vitality. Although the pain disappears when the tooth loses its vitality, this does not mean that the micro-organisms have disappeared.

On the contrary, the bacteria, which are becoming more varied and numerous, continue to seed the tooth and then the surrounding tissues via the root canal.

Initially, radiologically, a small round formation appears at the tip of the tooth root, called a granuloma, which if it exceeds a certain size becomes a cyst.

Another mechanism of bone cyst production is a molar that has not erupted.

The tooth, before it erupts, is surrounded by a follicular sac which disappears when the tooth is visible on the dental arch.

If the follicular sac is attacked or if there is bacterial seeding in the vicinity, it can develop into a cyst, a formation visible radiologically.

Non – Odontogenic – the second type of bone cysts is represented by the odontogenic ones, i.e. those that do not occur in relation to a tooth. They can form from epithelial remnants from the period of intrauterine tooth development.

Whatever the nature of the cyst, it must be removed. If they become too large, cysts can cause fracture of the bone to which they are attached.

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