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Cyst On Gums: Types, Causes & Treatment

Many people will have a soft, painless lump appear on their gums at some point during their lifetime. However, just because it's painless doesn't mean a bump on your gums isn't a cause for concern. Our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics explain why a dental cyst on your gums should also be looked at.

What does a dental cyst look like?

A dental cyst typically appears as a small, fluid-filled sac or pocket in the gums or jawbone. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but can be detected through dental imaging such as X-rays. In some cases, a dental cyst may cause swelling or tenderness in the affected area.  

Why do cyst on gum happen?

You may be wondering 'why is there a lump on my gum tissue?' when you first see one. Well, there are three main reasons why it may happen:

Dead or dying teeth:

Dead tooth or dying teeth can cause dental cysts due to the accumulation of bacteria and infection in the tooth. When a tooth becomes decayed or infected, it can lead to the formation of an abscess, which is a pocket of pus. If left untreated, this infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and form an oral cyst.

Unusual tooth positions:

Unusual tooth positions cause dental cysts due to the pressure and misalignment they exert on surrounding tissues. This can lead to the formation of pockets or spaces where fluid accumulates, eventually forming a cyst. Additionally, abnormal tooth positions can also make it difficult to properly clean the teeth and maintain oral hygiene, increasing the risk of infection and cyst development. 

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can lead to the formation of dental cysts due to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. When oral hygiene is neglected, plaque builds up and hardens into tartar, which irritates the surrounding tissues and can cause infection.

Are there different types of cysts on gums?

Yes, there are. The different types if dental cysts include:

  • Mucocele cysts: Also called mucous cysts.
  • Periapical cysts: Also called odontogenic cysts, the are most common type.
  • Dentigerous cysts: These are most common on the lower wisdom teeth and upper canines
  • Odontogenic tumours such as oral cancer: These may grow and will require a biopsy

Is there treatment for dental cysts?

The three main kinds of treatment for dental cysts include:

Home care

Admittedly, this is more of a prevention tactic. But maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home, such as regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent the development of dental cysts and promote overall oral health. 

Surgery (surgical procedure)

Surgery is a common and effective method for treating dental cysts. The procedure involves removing the cyst (surgical removal of the cyst) and any surrounding infected tissue to prevent further complications.

Root canals

Root canals can treat dental cysts by removing the infected pulp and nerves from the tooth. This procedure helps eliminate the source of infection and prevents further damage to the surrounding tissues.

Will a dental cyst go away without treatment?

In some cases, dental cysts may resolve on their own without any treatment. However, it is important to note that this is not always the case. Seeking professional dental care is recommended to ensure proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment if necessary. 

Has your dentist suggested that a lump on your gum might be because of unusual tooth positions? Contact one of our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics today to book a consultation and find out how we can help straighten your teeth. We have seven practices across Southern Ontario to better serve you.

Visit a Village Orthodontics Near You

Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or your child, we have an orthodontist waiting for you at one of our seven locations across Ontario.

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