Cysts of the upper or lower jaw are fluid-filled sacs that can result in swelling, pain and infection.

Some cysts can become large and affect nearby healthy teeth. A cyst will not go away by itself. If it starts to cause problems, it is usually best to treat the cyst before symptoms get worse.

The aim of treatment is to get rid of the cyst so that bone grows into the empty space. The most common surgical treatments are:

  • enucleation – the cyst is opened and the lining of the cyst is removed.
  • marsupialisation – the cyst is opened and only part of the lining is removed; a pouch is made so that the remainder of the lining becomes continuous with the tissue inside the mouth.

While the surgeon makes every attempt to save teeth involved with the cyst, one or more teeth may have to be removed, depending on the size and location of the cyst. Both procedures may be performed under Local, I.V. or General Anaesthetic