What are dentigerous cysts?
- A closed sac of serous fluid surrounding an impacted or partially erupted tooth.
What causes dentigerous cysts?
- When a tooth does not erupt normally, the pressure it puts on the dental follicle causes accumulation of fluid between the enamel epithelium and the crown.
Can cysts appear impacted for other reasons?
- Cysts can originate from developing teeth that are erupting normally
- Cysts can form at the root of a tooth that has been injured by trauma or cavities
- Cysts can be oral masses that are neoplastic in origin e.g. calcifying odontogenic cyst
What effect do dentigerous cysts have?
- Due to the tendency for dentigerous cysts to expand rapidly, they may cause pathological fractures of jaw bones.
How is it diagnosed?
- Step 1: count the teeth; unerupted teeth can be diagnosed around 7 months of age; look for soft fluid swellings of the gums where a tooth should be present
- Step 2: take dental radiographs
- Step 3: histopathology should be performed if a tooth is not found within the cyst
How is it treated or prevented?
- Extract impacted tooth before a cyst forms
- Completely remove the soft tissue lining of a cyst
- Extract neighboring teeth that have suffered severe bone loss
- Bone grafting may be indicated in patients at risk for jaw fractures
COMING SOON: Gingival Hyperplasia