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Dentistry/Tumor? Dentist unsure.


In Aug 2011 I noticed a pea sized lump under a baby tooth that is still in place, first molar on right side lower jaw, (am 27 yrs old, adult tooth never formed underneath)  in the gum. It was a hard lump, naturally concerned it was an abscess, so I went to the dentist that day.

She said it was not an abscess but she thought it was an Ameloblastoma, she said she'd never seen such a thing before.  An X-ray showed very dense jaw bone in the area of the "tumor" as well as a calcified baby tooth.

I was referred to a surgeon to supposedly remove the tooth and look at the tumor. However, due to insurance and poor help from the surgeon's office my procedure was cancelled the day before and being as I lived in Alaska, I was tough out of luck for any help.

I noticed several months later that sometimes the area on top of the hard area would swell and form a pus pocket, due to the annoying feeling I do pop it (just barely touch it) and then rinse with salt water. This isn't all the time, it happens every 3-6 months, the pocket will pop then come back for a few days.  Is this something I should be worried about or is it result of pressure from the "tumor"?

The tooth above the lump is raised and a little loose. If the lump is touched there is discomfort.

I do not smoke, nor drink.

We have just been restationed and I am preparing for my first appt with the dentist and doctor here. My questions are:

1- Does this sound like an ameloblastoma?
2- If not what on earth could this be?
3- Should I be concerned of cancer or anything else?
4- What are these pus pockets that form on top of it, they concern me very much.

5- What will my treatment consist of?

Thank you for your help and insight!

Ashley -  It is very difficult for me to arrive at a correct diagnosis of what tumor is growing in your mouth.  The fact that there appears to be a percolating effect, with the changes in appearance and texture, says that the tumor is quite active.  It is imperative that you do not see a regular dentist.  Once you have the insurance, immediately make an appointment with a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  

The pus that forms could be a breakdown of the tissue or the tooth involved could be infected.  It is impossible to fully tell you what is going on without examining you.

Initially the surgeon should biopsy the area to define what is actually occurring.  Once he knows then the correct approach to eliminate the tumor can be done.  Do not see a regular dentist about this.  It will just further delay.  See a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.  If you need the name of a surgeon, get back to me, tell me where you will be living and I will send you names.  


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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