Dental Cysts

Dental cysts

Dental cysts are relatively common. The jaws being, the most common bones in the body to develop cysts.

Dental cysts are similar to fluid filled balloons, usually within the jaw bone. They are usually attached to teeth and as they expand they dissolve the surrounding bone creating a cavity within the cyst

If a cyst is left in place it will slowly grow larger. Enlarging cysts can damage surrounding teeth as they expand, may become infected causing pain and swelling and if they are allowed to become large they can weaken the jaw bone. Once a cyst and associated tooth is removed the bony cavity that is left in the bone will refill with bone over several months.


A small number of cyst types may re-grow after removal so it is important to identify the type of cyst you have, for this reason all cysts are sent for histological evaluation and a pathology report will confirm the cyst type.

An x ray should be taken soon after the removal of the cyst and again at 6 or 12 months. This will allow you to confirm the cyst has healed or if the cyst is coming back. If a cyst is recurring it will be detected while still small making further treatment simpler.


Symptoms of a Cystic lesion
• Often none
• Swelling of the jaw
• Infection or dental abscess


The usual treatment is to remove the cyst, usually with the associated tooth. Most cysts do not reoccur and once removed the problem is resolved. A small number of cysts do occur. For this reason all cysts are sent for histological examination to determine the exact nature of the cyst.

Cysts may be removed while you are awake or while you sleep under light sedation.


Numb Lips, Cheek and Tongue

As with any surgical procedure in the lower jaw there is a risk of damage to a nerve in the lower jaw which supplies sensation to your lower lip, chin, cheek and tongue. This may result in a numb feeling in your lip, chin, cheek or tongue. This altered feeling will normally resolve within several months but in rare occasions the numb feelings may be permanent.


For more information on wisdom teeth, click wisdom teeth  and for other dental procedures, click Dental Procedures.