Odontogenic Cysts & Tumors

1 What are Odontogenic Cysts and Tumors?

Odontogenic cysts and tumors are growths that are usually involved in the process of tooth development or odontogenesis. 

These cysts are closed sacs that may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid materials enclosed in a distinct membrane that is usually a bi-product of odontogenic epithelium. Odontogenic cysts should not be mistaken with other oral cysts. 

There are several types of odontogenic lesions. These include:

  • Ameloblastoma. A rare and slow-growing tumor, ameloblastoma usually develops in the jaw near the molars. These tumors are often benign or noncancerous. 
  • Keratocystic odontogenic tumors. A type of odontogenic cyst that grows slowly yet can be destructive to local structures. These growths are often benign or noncancerous and are usually found in people with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, an inherited disease. 
  • Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. People with this condition has a missing gene that is significant in suppressing tumors.  The syndrome is also called Gorlin-Goltz syndrome and often results in the development of multiple basal cell skin cancers at an early age. 
  • Odontoma.  A  benign (noncancerous) odontogenic tumor that is made up of dental tissues that surround the tooth in the jaw, an odontoma usually resembles an oddly-shaped tooth. 
  • Odontogenic myxoma. A rare, slow-growing tumor, odontogenic myxoma is usually non-cancerous and often occurs in the lower jaw. The tumor can grow large and may invade the jaw and neighboring tissue. 
  • Central giant cell granuloma. A rapidly-growing tumor, a central giant cell granuloma can easily destroy the bone of the lower jaw if left untreated. The tumor may be treated with medication or surgical intervention or with both. 

Other types of cysts and tumors. 

Other types of odontogenic growths include: 

  • adenomatoid tumors
  • calcifying epithelial tumors
  • ameloblastic fibromas
  • glandular cysts
  • squamous odontogenic tumors
  • dentigerous cysts
  • calcifying odontogenic tumors, among others.

2 Treatment

Treating odontogenic tumors and cysts may be done using different procedures. 

Treatment can range from a simple procedure, such as enucleation of the cyst to a more invasive procedure like curettage and resection. 

Treatments depend on the symptoms and the type of lesions you have. It also depends on the stage of growth. 

While some cysts and tumors may be treated with medications, surgical management are often required.

The removed tissue is examined by a pathologist immediately after removal and diagnosis must be reported within minutes so the surgeon can do further steps, if necessary.