Humans get 2 sets of teeth through life. The first set is known as the primary dentition or milk teeth. The second set is known as secondary dentition or permanent teeth. Sometimes, permanent teeth form but do not push through gum tissue or bone completely. When permanent teeth form and remain submerged under bone or gum tissue, it can be unnoticeable for the most part or cause some discomfort periodically. These teeth that remain covered by gum or bone tissue are known as unerupted teeth.
It is very common for wisdom teeth to be unerupted if there is not enough space for them to surface into the mouth. Unerupted wisdom teeth can develop cysts around them. A dentigerous cyst can develop around third molars (wisdom teeth), unerupted canines (for tearing food), and is caused by a fluid accumulation. Dentigerous cysts can be undetected without a radiograph/xray.
At Museum Smiles, our new patients get a panoramic radiograph, and one is taken every 4-5 years, or as needed for monitoring the formation of wisdom teeth or other pathology. Dentigerous cysts can get bigger and result in a swelling that can be felt by the patient or their dental professional. These cysts have the potential to develop an infection and cause pain or affect other teeth.
A dentigerous cysts can be resolved by removing the associated teeth such as the wisdom teeth(3rd molars) and debridement of the lining. Antibiotics are given as needed for such treatment. It is important to have such cysts evaluated to differentiate them from tumors that can occur in the lower jaw bone (mandible), or upper arch (maxilla).
If you or a family member is interested in having a comprehensive dental examination, please contact us at Museum Smiles (817) 870 5099. We are located within a few minutes of downtown Fort Worth and have convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate a busy work schedule.