Jaw Cyst Surgery
What Is Jaw Cyst Surgery?
Cysts can arise in the jaws due to dental infection, tooth trauma or due to unerupted teeth (usually wisdom or canine teeth). These are fluid filled cavities within the jaw bone, that gradually increase in size and weaken the bone. These need to be treated surgically by either complete removal or decompression.
Why Jaw Cyst Surgery Is Done?
Jaw cysts usually grow slowly and silently within the jaw bones and weaken them. Leaving jaw cysts untreated may lead to:
- Mal-alignment / loosening of teeth
- Jaw fracture in severe cases
You must consult your oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you note any of the following symptoms:
- Slowly growing facial swelling (usually painless)
- Unexplained swelling in the gums
- Reduced mouth opening
- Pus / fluid discharge from mouth
- Numbness over the lower lip
What Jaw Cyst Surgery Can / Can’t Do
- Treat the face swelling and infection associated with the cyst
- Augment healing of the bone affected by the cyst
- Repair fractures caused by the cyst
- The surgery itself cannot correct dental crowding
- Guarantee reappearance of the cyst in future
- Lead to development of cancer in the bone
How You Should Prepare For Jaw Cyst Removal Surgery ?
- Discuss any medical illnesses, if you have, with your doctor
- Each jaw cyst is different. Discuss your pre-surgical preparation with your surgeon
- You must stop smoking at least 2 weeks before your surgery
- A scaling (oral prophylaxis) done 1 week before the surgery greatly reduces the risk of infection
What is the Procedure of Jaw Cyst Surgery ?
Small jaw cysts can be removed completely as a simple day-care procedure performed under local anesthesia. It involves raising a small gum flap and / or a small amount of bone covering the cyst followed by complete removal of the cyst.
Large cysts are generally treated as a two-stage procedure. The first step is for diagnosis and involves a small surgery to take a small part of the cyst for biopsy. Based on this diagnosis, the second surgery is performed to treat the cyst, either by decompression (creating a window in the cyst wall), enucleation (complete cyst removal) or resection (rarely for severe cases).
These surgeries are almost always performed from inside the oral cavity, leaving no scars on the face.
Recovery After Jaw Cyst Removal Surgery?
- Complete cyst removal is usually a simple procedure with a speedy recovery
- Mild facial swelling may be seen for up to 10 – 15 days after the procedure
- Solid foods and heavy exercise are to be avoided for a few weeks after the surgery
- Regular saline rinses are advised to maintain wound hygiene
- Many cysts tend to recur, so it is important to stay in constant touch with your surgeon to look out for reappearance of the cyst, even years after the surgery
- You may experience some numbness of the lip in rare cases
Risk involved in Jaw Cyst Removal Surgery ?
Depending on the location and size of the cyst, its removal may lead to:
- Lip numbness
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Temporary nasal congestion