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Oral Cysts Explained

TootheacheWhen you hear the phrase oral cysts you might envision a long list of possible problems. The most basic explanation of this condition, however, is an unexpected sac filled with fluid of some sort and appearing in the area in or around the mouth. This includes the lips, tongue, palate (roof of the mouth), gums, floor of the mouth, the throat, and the salivary glands. Many dentists and physicians also consider that oral cysts can form on the bones in the mouth area.

There are a few types of cysts, and we will consider each in turn. Before we do that, let's just understand what the most common symptoms and causes for oral cysts will be. The symptoms include:

• Lump inside of the mouth or along the jaw;
• Formation of sacs;
• Pain near the teeth; and
• Signs of infection.

The last symptom is important to note because infection is often a leading cause of cyst formation. This is due to the simple fact that the first stage of most cyst formation is the buildup of infected material inside or around the tooth. The body then encapsulates the infected fluid or material inside of a cyst. Even then, the body can reabsorb the infected material and spread the problem to other areas of the mouth or the body.

Ultimately, most dentists are going to want the majority of cysts to be removed, and also to be analyzed for signs of malignancy. Though most cysts are not cancerous, it is best to be sure that it is indeed a cyst and not a tumor that is being dealt with through removal. If there are any questions about the matter, a good dentist will first perform a biopsy before attempting to remove the growth.

The Types of Cysts

As already indicated, there are few kinds of cysts, and they include:

• Periapical- These are quite uncomfortable because they are caused by any sort of infection in the pulp area of the tooth. The fluid created by the infection will escape at the small opening in the bottom of the tooth and become trapped by the surrounding tissue; forming the fluid-filled cyst.

• Dentigerous - When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted it is usually going to have at least one cyst of this type nearby. They develop in the dental follicle and are often unnoticed because they cause no pain - though they can force third molars out of their natural position.

• Odontogenic - Cyst that grows in the jawbone. They can cause a bulge in the bone and most dentists will want their patient to have the cyst removed. The reason for removing an otherwise harmless cyst is because this type tends to grow; weakening and even fracturing bone and teeth;

• Mucocele - This is the "mucus" cyst that appears when the tissue inside of the mouth has been overly irritated or injured. These are painless growths that tend to rupture on their own and which heal quickly without intervention of any kind. If it does not rupture, and continues to increase in size, a dentist can lance and drain it.