Ameloblastoma

1 What is Ameloblastoma?

Ameloblastoma is a rare form of non-metastatic, tumor found around jaws.

Abnormal growth of tissue can be found in the upper and lower jaw. It is most commonly found near the un-erupted molars.

Although most of the tumors are benign, they may be locally aggressive, causing swelling and pain in the jaw bones near the molar teeth.

Severe symptoms of ameloblastoma may result in facial deformity. It is usually diagnosed through imaging techniques and biopsy of the tumor.

Surgery is the preferred treatment for ameloblastoma, but recurrence may happen.

It usually occurs in the 40s and 50s, and both males and females are equally affected.

2 Symptoms

The main symptom of Ameloblastoma is excessive tissue growth that can be seen in the upper or lower jaw.

Around 80% of the ameloblastoma occurs in the lower jaw bone, while the rest are noted in the upper jaw.

Other common symptoms of this condition are:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Gum disease
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Facial deformity
  • Numbness of the jaw
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Pain around the teeth or jaw

In some cases, the tissue growth may be covered by a thin shell of bone. This covering may crack even from touch.

If the tissue growth extends to the sinus cavities or nose floor, it causes pain.

3 Causes

The actual cause of ameloblastoma is not yet clearly understood.

Some of the causes implied in the development of ameloblastoma include:

  • Injury to mouth or jaw
  • Gum infection
  • Tooth infection
  • Inflammation of the gums, jaws, or teeth

Viral infections are also suspected to cause ameloblastoma.

A lack of protein is also considered to be one of the causes for abnormal tissue growth in the jaws.

The presence of un-erupted teeth in the jaw is a major risk factor for the development of ameloblastoma.

Conditions like Gorlin-Goltz syndrome also increase the chance of excessive tissue growth in the jaws.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests for Ameloblastoma are suggested depending on the location of the tumor in the mouth.

Individual medical history and a physical examination provide information that helps in diagnosis of the benign tumor.

Imaging techniques aid in visualizing the structure and spread of tumor. X-rays, MRI, and CT scans are used in the confirmatory diagnosis of ameloblastoma.

A biopsy of the tumor tissue is used in the definitive diagnosis.

Additional tests are used in diagnosis of other condition that result in similar symptoms.

5 Treatment

The main treatment method for Ameloblastoma is Surgery, which helps to remove the excess tissue growth from the jaw.

In some cases, the bone beneath the tumor may also be removed. Surgery is repeated for recurrences.

Reconstructive surgery is also suggested for facial deformities.

6 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Arsenicum album or Hepar sulphuricum are used as homeopathic remedies in controlling the recurrence of ameloblastoma.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are used to improve the immune system to eliminate the tumor growth.

Methylene blue helps to remove infection and toxins from the oral cavity.

Milk of magnesia is also effective in removing infections.

7 Lifestyle and Coping

Having support of family and friends in the treatment helps the person to cope with Ameloblastoma.

Although ameloblastoma is a non-cancerous tissue growth in the jaw, it may result in facial deformity.

8 Risks and Complications

Some common complications of Ameloblastoma include facial deformity, difficulty breathing, secondary infections, and recurrence.

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