Can a Cyst Under a Tooth Be Cancerous?

Dental cysts are a problem related to oral health that usually start at the base of a decaying or deceased tooth. Nonetheless, they can form due to different reasons such as incorrect positioning of permanent teeth, abnormal growth of teeth, issues arising from root canal procedures, or genetic disorders like Gorlin’s syndrome.

It may be questioned whether a cyst beneath a tooth can be cancerous. To clarify this inquiry, it is important to comprehend the characteristics and varieties of dental cysts.

The kinds of dental cysts include Dentigerous Cyst and Odontogenic Myxoma. Dentigerous Cysts form near the crown of un-erupted wisdom teeth, typically in the lower jaw. Usually slow-growing, they can be destructive over time if left untreated.

The rare Odontogenic Myxoma is a non-cancerous tumor that is typically discovered in the lower jaw. Individuals with Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome, an inherited condition, may also experience the growth of multiple odontogenic keratocysts in their jaws.

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Type of CystCharacteristicsCan it Be Cancerous?
Dentigerous CystForms near un-erupted wisdom tooth. Can be destructive over timeNo (if untreated can cause damage)
Odontogenic MyxomaSlow-growing benign tumor, often in lower jawNo

An intriguing cyst is the Ameloblastoma, a rare benign tumor starting in cells that form the protective enamel lining on teeth. While typically non-cancerous, there are rare occasions where it can become malignant, although this is not the norm.

It’s essential to note that majority of dental cysts are the result of an infection, not cancer. However, they can lead to severe discomfort and long-term damage to the jaw and teeth if not addressed in time.

At-home treatments could be applicable for some oral cysts, depending on the severity of symptoms, and might include antibiotic use rather than surgery. Yet, it’s always recommended to consult a medical professional and possibly get a CT scan for a comprehensive view of the cyst. Treatment plans vary based on the size and location of the cysts and may range from simple extraction to more extensive surgery.

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