Jaw Tumors and Cysts

What are Jaw Tumors and Cysts?

Tumors and cysts grow from existing tissue. They can either be benign or cancerous tumors and cysts. Since the jaw is composed of multiple types of tissues, the area is more susceptible to growing cysts and tumors. The jaw is composed of the following types of tissue:

  • bones
  • muscles
  • glands
  • mucosa

Jaw tumors and cysts can affect anyone. There are a number of risk factors that have been found to attribute to the development of jaw cysts. These risk factors are alcohol and tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, ill fitting dentures, rough or jagged edges on teeth, and poor nutrition.

What are the Symptoms of Jaw Tumors and Cysts?

Depending on the exact location of the tumor or cyst, your symptoms may vary.

Symptoms include

  • Reddish patches in the mouth, called erythrolasia
  • White patches in the mouth, called leukoplakia
  • Sore throat that does not heal over a few weeks. The areas of the throat may bleed easily.
  • The feeling of a lump or thickened portion of tissue.
  • Sore throat that becomes chronic. Usually this sore throat comes with hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.

How are Jaw Tumors and Cysts Treated?

The treatment for jaw tumors and cysts will depend on a number of factors. The first factor taken into consideration is whether the abnormal tissue that is present is malignant or benign. If the tumor is benign, it can simply be removed. However, if the growth is malignant, your doctor will schedule you for surgery that is followed up by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

After it is determined that all malignant cells are gone, your doctor will test frequently to ensure that the cancer does not return.

Last Reviewed:
October 06, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017