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Dentigerous Cyst: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, Outlook

What is a Dentigerous Cyst?

A dentigerous cyst is a type of odontogenic cyst that is mostly known to affect the molars and canines. It is a fluid-filled sac that develops in a person’s mouth, in the jaw bone or in the soft tissue over the top of the tooth that has not yet erupted. There is a tissue known as a dental follicle that surrounds the crown of the developing tooth till it erupts(1). The dentigerous cyst causes the dental follicle to dilate preventing it from erupting.

What is a Dentigerous Cyst?

dentigerous cyst are usually found affecting the maxillary canines and third molars or the wisdom teeth. It commonly affects people between 10-30 years of age(2). If not treated dentigerous cyst can lead to complications such as infection and tooth loss. Dentigerous cyst accounts for 24 percent of cyst of the jaw(3).

Causes of Dentigerous cyst

The cause of dentigerous cyst is the fluid build-up over the top of the impacted tooth. This makes the impacted tooth stay in the gum tissue or the jaw for longer than normal and increases the risk of developing a dentigerous cyst(4). The longer a person has an impacted tooth higher the chances of a person developing a dentigerous cyst.

Symptoms of Dentigerous Cyst

A dentigerous causes no symptoms until it gets inflamed(5). An inflamed dental cyst can lead to:

  • Swelling
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Displaced teeth
  • Presence of bump at the pace of tooth eruption

A dentigerous can disrupt the alignment of teeth, nerves, and other structures of the mouth.

How is Dentigerous Cyst Diagnosed?

As a dentigerous cyst does not cause any symptoms, its diagnosis is difficult. The cyst can be identified in an x-ray(6). The x-ray passes ionizing radiation through the parts of the body to produce images of organs, bones, or teeth. An x-ray may be done to investigate the delay in the tooth eruption. This is when the dentigerous cyst is detected.

Treatment of Dentigerous cyst

Sometimes surgery may be needed for a dentigerous cyst. It is a simple surgical procedure in which the dentist removes the affected tooth and cyst tissue. This helps in resolving the problem(5).

If a large cyst is present, marsupialization may be recommended(7). In it, an incision is made in the cyst to drain the liquid. Once the fluid is drained, stitches are made to close the edges of the cyst. This prevents the cyst from growing again.

Other treatment options for dentigerous cysts are as follows:

  • Reconstruction surgery for the restoration of the jawbone and the structures surrounding it.
  • Medical therapy
  • Supportive care to improve the quality of life.

The person is asked to monitor for the recurrence of the cyst.

Complications of Dentigerous Cyst

If treated properly there is no complication with a dentigerous cyst. Without treatment, an infection may develop.  If an infection develops, the person experiences pain.  The jaw bone can get weak due to infection and can be at an increased risk of fracture.

A dentigerous cyst may also interfere with the structure of the mouth and can lead to a tingling or prickling sensation. This is known as nerve paresthesia.

Some evidence also shows the role of dentigerous cysts in the development of rare benign tumors known as ameloblastoma(8). Dentigerous cyst if left untreated can cause distress to the gum tissue. This may weaken the tissue and cause it to lose its ability to hold the tooth in place.

Outlook for Dentigerous Cyst

If the person receives proper treatment for a dentigerous cyst, the outlook is excellent(5). Treatment also reduces the chances of complications and recurrence of the cyst.

A dentigerous cyst develops over the impacted tooth and appears as a fluid-filled sac in the jaw bone. It does not show any symptoms and may be discovered in an x-ray done for late tooth eruption. It may lead to complications including infection that can be prevented if proper treatment is taken. It is therefore important to speak to a dentist if any swelling, pain, or unusual bump is observed in the molars or canines.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 26, 2022

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