What are the symptoms of jaw cysts and what should I do about them?

Symptom Database

Jaw cysts, also known as dental cysts or maxillofacial cysts, are cystic lesions that can develop in the jaw bone. These cysts are considered to be one of the most common oral pathologies, and they can vary in size and severity. It is important to understand the symptoms of jaw cysts and what steps should be taken if you suspect you have one.

Symptoms of Jaw Cysts

Identifying the symptoms of jaw cysts is crucial for early detection and treatment. While some cysts may not cause any noticeable symptoms, others can lead to discomfort and complications. Here are some common symptoms associated with jaw cysts:

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling or a visible lump on the jaw
  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth
  • Loose teeth or tooth displacement
  • Changes in bite or jaw alignment
  • Recurrent infections or abscesses
  • Facial asymmetry

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a dentist or oral surgeon for a proper diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing jaw cysts typically involves a thorough examination of the affected area, including dental X-rays and possibly a biopsy. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, appropriate treatment can be recommended. The treatment options for jaw cysts may vary depending on the size, location, and type of cyst. Here are some common treatment approaches:

Monitoring and Observation

In some cases, small and asymptomatic cysts may not require immediate treatment. Instead, the dentist or oral surgeon may choose to monitor the cyst over time to ensure it does not grow or cause any complications. Regular check-ups and imaging tests can help track the progress of the cyst.

Conservative Treatment

If the cyst is causing discomfort or affecting oral function, conservative treatment options may be considered. This can include draining the cyst, removing the fluid, and placing a small tube to allow continuous drainage. This approach aims to relieve symptoms and prevent further complications.

Surgical Intervention

In cases where the cyst is large, causing significant pain, or affecting nearby structures, surgical intervention may be necessary. The surgical procedure involves removing the cyst and any surrounding affected tissue. This can be done through a traditional open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopic surgery.

Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

After the cyst removal, reconstructive procedures may be required to restore the normal function and aesthetics of the jaw. This can involve bone grafting, dental implants, or other restorative treatments. The specific approach will depend on the extent of the cyst and the resulting damage.

Prevention and Outlook

While it may not be possible to prevent all jaw cysts, there are certain measures that can reduce the risk of developing these cystic mandibular lesions. Maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent infections and reduce the likelihood of cyst formation. Additionally, routine dental check-ups can aid in early detection and prompt treatment.

The outlook for jaw cysts is generally positive, especially with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Most cysts can be effectively treated, and the prognosis is typically favorable. However, it is important to follow the recommended post-treatment care instructions and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor for any recurrence or complications.


Jaw cysts are common oral pathologies that can cause various symptoms and complications. Recognizing the signs of jaw cysts and seeking prompt dental evaluation is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. With advancements in oral surgery techniques, the prognosis for jaw cysts is generally favorable. If you suspect you have a jaw cyst, consult a dental professional to discuss your symptoms and explore the appropriate treatment options.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment