Jaw Tumors: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Did you know that abnormal tumors in the jaws affect around 10% of the population? These atypical lesions frequently manifest themselves in the area of an unremoved third molar. Others result from random occurrences, inflammation, or genetics. While they normally don’t do any harm, sometimes they can spread into the jaw bone and cause teeth to shift.
What Are Jaw Tumors?
Odontogenic jaw tumors are a lesion that develops from epithelium or ectomesenchyme leftovers linked with tooth formation. It includes anything from hamartomas to tumors. They are then classified as epithelial, ectomesenchyme, or mixed based on their cell of origin.
They are uncommon growths or lesions in the jawbone or soft tissues of the mouth and face and can range in size and severity depending on their origin. These growths are often noncancerous (benign) but can be aggressive, expanding, dislodging, or destroying the surrounding bone, tissue, and teeth.
What Are the Symptoms?
Tumors in the jaw typically may not show symptoms. They are frequently detected during a regular X-ray. However, inflammation, bone discomfort, numbness, soreness, and unexplained tooth movement can be symptoms. Benign tumors can cause injury to surrounding bone and tissue.
As it evolves, they cause your jaw to grow and weaken over time due to bone loss. Changes to your bite may occur due to the mass, eventually displacing or loosening your teeth. The discomfort and swelling caused by the rapid growth of other tumors is no joke.
Lips, cheeks, the palate, and the gum tissue surrounding the teeth, the tongue, the face, or the neck may all show signs of these alterations. Even with pathology, pain is not always present and curiously, it is not often associated with oral cancer.
Which Are the Causes?
As we tell, jaw tumors form in cells and tissues that are normally involved with the formation of growing teeth. These tumors can also arise from sources other than the teeth; these “nonodontogenic” tumors might originate in the jawbone or the jaw’s soft tissues. While most jaw tumors have an unknown origin, some have been linked to specific gene alterations (mutations) or inherited disorders.
Treatment options vary in efficacy based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, the tumor’s stage of development, and the type of tumor. Your treatment team considers not only your treatment goals but also your values and preferences when deciding what course of action to suggest.
Surgical removal is the standard method of treatment. Medical therapy, or a combination of medical medicine and surgery, may be necessary for some circumstances.
During the initial appointment, the doctors will ask about your health history, conduct a physical examination, and take any required x-rays. It is crucial to identify the faulty tissue before surgery can begin. After performing a biopsy to identify the lesion, the surgeon will advise you on the most effective course of action for removing the lesion in its entirety while minimizing the likelihood of its recurrence.
During surgery, your doctor will remove the cyst or tumor from your jaw, and any surrounding teeth, tissue, and jawbone, before sending the sample to the lab for analysis. Inside the confines of the operating room, a pathologist studies the tissue being removed and provides a diagnosis in real time, allowing the surgeon to take prompt corrective action.
Are You Suspecting?
See your primary care physician or dentist if you experience symptoms that you believe may be related to a jaw tumor or cyst.
Most time, jaw tumors don’t cause any symptoms and are only found during routine screening X-rays. Your primary care doctor can send you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment if you have one or think you might have one.
Our staff at Terracina Surgical Arts recommends monthly self-exams because your mouth is one of your most important early warning systems. Don’t ignore any bumps or cuts that look odd. Dr. Punjabi is a highly qualified professional in the management and treatment of jaw tumors in the Inland Empire thanks to his dual board certification in Plastic Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Call (909) 798-9950 to contact us.