Oral cysts and tumors may develop in the jawbone or soft tissues in the mouth and face.
Oral cyst is an abnormal cavity within bone or soft tissues which may contain fluid. There are many different types of cysts in the mouth.

Reason to remove oral cyst:

  • Size of cyst will increase with time
  • Very large cyst can be dangerous, they can weaken your jawbone and causes your jawbone to be break easily
  • Teeth adjacent to large cyst can be affected and become mobile

Oral tumor is a solid or semi-solid mass in the bone or soft tissue that is made of unusual cells. Oral tumor can be benign tumor (not cancerous) or malignant tumor (cancerous). This can be confirmed by using biopsy test (a surgery that removes part of your tumor to examine it under a microscope). Biopsy is needed to diagnose the tumor before starting any treatment.

When should I suspect that I have an oral cyst or tumor?
Most of the oral lesions do not have any symptoms. Oral cyst may cause swelling, bone expansion, displacement or loosening teeth and pain (if infected). Oral tumor may present as a non-painful bump, lump, or ulcer. After your oral and maxillofacial surgeon examines the cyst or tumor, he will often recommend an X-ray to determine what kind of treatment you need.

Type of common treatments for oral tumors and cysts – Treatment options depends on the location and the type of lesion and your symptoms.

  • Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC): FNAC is a fast and less invasive tool used to diagnose a suspicious lesion or to differentiate cancerous and non-cancerous lesion before any invasive surgery done. This technique uses fine needle to obtain cells from lesion for examination under a microscope or to explore whether a lesion contains a fluid.

  • Surgical excision: Complete removal of lesion with the surrounding normal tissues.
  • Incisional biopsy: This technique removes only a small portion of a large lesion for diagnosis prior to treatment. Incisional biopsy indicated in very large lesion, hazardous location of the lesion and lesion that has the characteristics of malignancy.

  • Enucleation: A technique used to completely remove cyst by elevating of soft tissue flap, removing of bone overlying the cyst followed by peeling off the cyst with spoon-like instrument.

  • Marsupialization: Removes only a portion of the cyst lining and the cystic lining is sutured to the oral mucosa to keep the cavity open. The open cavity will trap food and takes many months to heal. This technique rarely used, unless associated structures, such as adjacent nerve, nose, and maxillary sinus are at the risk of damage during enucleation.

The post was prepared by Dr. Jean

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