Dental Cyst: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Remedies


Do you know what a dental cyst is? It is a small fluid-filled sac that feels like a bump.

A dental cyst is a kind of small growth in the mouth. They are also called mucoceles or mucous cysts.

A cyst, in general, is a sac of tissue filled with fluid or soft material. They may cause pain and swelling when infected. They also may weaken the jaw and press other teeth.

An oral cyst usually appears on the insides of the lips, but they also may occur on the insides of the cheeks, tongue, palate, floor of the mouth, and around oral piercings.

Dental Cyst: Why They Form and Causes

Cysts in the mouth form at the tip of the roots of dead teeth (due to trauma and infection), and around crowns of buried teeth. In some cases dental cysts are associated with a genetic syndrome, like Gorlin’s syndrome.

Dental Cysts: Prevention

When teeth are alive, cysts rarely develop next to them. However, if the nerves in a tooth dies, due to trauma or infection, then you should go to the dentist so that the area can be treated to prevent an infection.

We should all go twice a year to the dentist so that a professional can examine us and check if we have a buried tooth or dead nerves.

Dental Cysts: Treatment

Dental cysts do not go away on their own. They need to be removed or drained by a dentist.

If you visit your doctor, there will usually be 3 possible treatments:

  1. Surgery
  2. Endodontic therapy
  3. Tooth extraction
  • In general, a cyst is removed by an oral surgeon. But before the removal, the cyst must be detected in a routine examination or an x-ray, a 3D CBCT scan.
  • The next step is preparing for surgery with scaling and polishing. If a root canal is needed, it will be done before the surgery. You may be given an oral probiotic to increase beneficial bacteria in the saliva. This will contribute to a fast healing process.
  • The final step is removing the cyst. An oral surgeon will remove the cyst through a window in the bone under local anesthetic. You may also be sedated for the procedure if you suffer from anxiety or have any other issue.

The tooth may also be removed if it is embedded within the cyst. You may need stitches in the gums afterward, but they will be removed after a few days.

If your dentist suspects the cyst resembles a tumor, the excised tissue can be sent to a pathology lab.

Dental Cysts: Types

  1. Periapical cysts: these form at the root tip. They are caused by trauma, a crack in the tooth, or due to decay. These may infect or kill the nerve leading to the development of the cyst.
  2. Keratocysts: these form due to trauma or to genetics. Keratocysts are aggressive and may be recurrent, even after removing them surgically.
  3. Periodontal cysts: these are caused by advanced gum disease.
  4. Dentigerous cysts: these grow around unerupted or partially erupted teeth. They appear mainly in wisdom teeth.

Dental Cysts and Oral Abscess: The Difference

Dental cysts may be confused with oral abscesses. A dentist will be able to detect if it is one or the other. If you experience pain, pressure, or discomfort, set an appointment, so you may start treating it right away.

On the one hand, a dental cyst is often slow developing and is usually benign. As we mentioned before, it consists of a small sac of fluid and inflammation. It forms in the gums near wisdom teeth that have not emerged yet or due to another tooth undergoing distress. The fluid may be sterile, but it may cause pain nevertheless. Cysts are treated with some lifestyle modifications, prescription medication or a surgical procedure, in some cases.

On the other hand, an abscess is usually more serious. It consists of an acute infection in the gums, which may result from an untreated tooth decay since bacteria form in the local gum tissues. Abscesses are treated with prescription antibiotics, but if it is large, a surgical extraction will be recommended.

Oral Cyst: Treat It At Home

If you visit your dentist regularly, he or she will tell you that the cyst will erupt on its own. If this happens, it will cause no serious side effects or complications.

However, it is always advisable to leave the cyst be, that is, never try to lance or rupture the cyst. You may injure yourself or cause a serious infection.

It is also recommended to practice proper oral hygiene, brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day.

Dental Cyst: Natural Remedies

If you want to control tooth pain and stop infection from spreading, you may need antibiotics. However, there are some options you can try at home if you need to wait until your appointment with your dentist.

These natural treatments will bring some relief until you can see a professional.

  • Baking Soda: due to its antibacterial properties, it may help reduce plaque and relieve pain. Mix water and baking soda to make a paste and apply directly to the tooth or gum.
  • Essential oils: these alleviate pain and promote healing. Put 5 drops of essential oil (oregano oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, or thyme oil) on a cotton ball or cotton swab and apply directly to the tooth.
  • Saltwater solution: make a saltwater rinse to lessen the pain. This solution also helps contain the infection, killing the bacteria in the mouth. Use a cup of warm tap water and add a teaspoon of salt. Rinse your mouth and spit it out.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: it prevents infections and can be used as a mouthwash. Mix it with water and rinse your mouth with it.
  • Aloe Vera gel: it has antibacterial properties, and it helps heal the gums. Cool the gel in the fridge before for extra pain relief and apply directly to the infected tooth or gums.
  • Cold compress: it reduces swelling in your face from the tooth infection. Dip a washcloth or towel into the freezer or use a bag of corn or peas and place it on your face and neck.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Try them at home to have excellent oral health!

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