Posted on 4/26/2021 by Andrew Horowitz, DMD, MD, FACS
An oral cyst is medically known as an odontogenic cyst. It is a pus-containing lesion that forms in the jawbones and soft tissues of your mouth. These oral cysts can form in your gums, inner lips, inner cheeks, tongue, and the back of your throat. There are many types of oral cysts, and they can widely range in size and severity.
Most odontogenic cysts are removed through surgery. If the cysts develop inside the soft tissues of the mouth, a tissue surgery is performed, but if the cysts form inside the jaw bone, a bone surgery is performed to remove the cyst.
Further diagnosis can be made through sensibility testing and cone beam computed tomography. This is done to assess whether the cyst is cancerous or non-cancerous in nature. Operating on cancerous cysts could spread the cancer to other parts of the body therefore care is necessary.
For example, in the case of radicular cysts, a root canal is required to remove the cysts that have formed at the root tip of a dead tooth.
Surgery for Oral Cysts
For cysts in the jaws, you will be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon like Drs. Orentlicher and Horowitz who specialize in jaw surgery.
The surgeon will administer a general anesthetic and make you fall asleep. A section of your jaw bone will be cut open to reach the cyst and extract it from your jaw bone. In some cases, the surgeon may also have to remove a few teeth and roots in order to get to the cyst. These teeth can be fixed again through the procedure known as dental implants.
In the case of cysts that develop in soft tissues of the mouth, a minor tissue surgery is performed. A small incision is made to remove the cyst, and the wound is cleaned and stitched. Typically, cyst removal surgery takes an hour, and the downtime is usually 2 weeks.
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