Dental Cyst

What is a Dental Cyst?

A foreign particle stuck inside a sac of tissue in or around the teeth and jaws is known as a dental cyst. The pouch contains a collection of pus called abscess and develops after the dental pulp dies. It increases in size when the old pulp material comes out. The cyst causes extreme pressure on the bone structure of the teeth and it could eat away and weaken the bone.

Types of Dental Cyst

Periapical cyst

It occurs due to infection within the tooth or an injury on the apex of the tooth. If the infected area is not appropriately treated, then periapical cyst grows around the root and can result in more bone loss around the teeth. The infected tooth should either go through root canal treatment or should be extracted thoroughly.

Dentigerous cyst or follicular cyst

The dentigerous cyst develops in place of undeveloped teeth around the lower wisdom teeth or on the crowns of the teeth. The pressure exerted by the upcoming teeth results in the formation of the follicular cyst and this pressure causes accumulation of fluid or blood between the coronal portion of the tooth and the enamel membrane tissue. The treatment is to extract the tooth and operate the cyst.

Residual cyst

The residual cyst is a type of periapical cyst that occurs after the tooth is extracted and is removed surgically in the dental chair.

Lateral periodontal cyst

The cyst that persists near a healthy tooth is known as a lateral periodontal cyst and it can only be discovered through dental X-Rays. It causes no pain and the loss of bone can be removed by periodontal surgery procedure.

Eruption cyst

Children are mostly affected by erosion cyst where the tooth erupts from the bone but cannot pass through the gum tissue. It usually does not require any treatment as they rupture themselves and comes out in the mouth entirely.

Keratocyst odontogenic tumors

The keratocyst odontogenic tumors are usually found in the posterior area of the lower jaw or mandible. It causes swelling and develops in the place where the tooth usually does. It requires surgical excision and should be monitored for a lifetime.


A dental cyst can be found on the tip of the roots of dead teeth or the crowns of buried teeth. The cyst can be caused due to:

  • Dental injury or trauma
  • Source of the tooth was treated incorrectly
  • Teeth may not have adequately developed (it includes unable to grow in the mouth properly)
  • In rare cases, it is assumed that the dental cyst can be caused due to genetic syndrome (e.g., Gorlin’s Syndrome).

Problems Caused by Dental Cyst

The dental cyst can cause the following problems:

  • Compression of nerves and causing numbness
  • Expansion of jaw bones, usually painless
  • Occupies space and replaces it with normal tissue and loss of bones causation
  • Eats up the adjacent teeth or move the teeth from their normal position
  • Infection-causing paining or swelling
  • Stops normal function of the teeth and mouth


The dental cysts are not painful, so its presences is not detected until and unless a dental X-Ray is done. But a person may feel discomfort when the cyst begins to put pressure on the teeth and the adjacent gums. If the cyst becomes infected, it causes pain, swells and builds up pressure quickly.


Diagnosis is done using 3D X-Rays, but if the tooth is buried, then 3D-i-CAT computer tomography is recommended for the state of health and tooth position.


The type of treatment depends on the location, size, and nature of the cyst.

Endodontic therapy

The therapy can be used to treat some dental cyst. The infected pulp of the tooth is cleaned out to reduce the development of further infection. A needle-like material is used to get into the tooth and clean it up.

Root canal treatment

In this process, the out shell of the tooth is preserved following an infection, so it does not require complete drainage. Through the root, a hole is drilled inside the tooth to clean the pus.

Is tooth removal necessary?

In some cases, the tooth has to be removed permanently and this happens when the endodontic therapy or root canal treatment does not affect the affected area. After the removal, the cyst can be cleaned out and an artificial bone compound will be added in this region to prevent the cyst from developing again.

The removal process should have a chance of adding a new implant later.  This gives the surety that the area will heal up and no further problems will be involved in the jaw structure but the implantation should be done carefully.


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