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Dentistry/Swelling and bleeding lump behind two front teeth


QUESTION: About three years ago I bitinto a sandwich and stared to bleed from behind the front teeth.  Stopped it after putting pressure for about 15 minutes but it was prone to recurring for months.  Looked like a little volcano (pimple with ahole int he middle).  Denntist then was not sure what it was so I went to my ENT.  He remove the little pimple and cauterized to stop the bleeding.  Biopsy was normal.  It stopped for over a year.  About a month ago the swelling came back on that ridge behind the two front teeth.  I went to the dentist and he feels its "granular tissue" from possible infection and put me on Clindamycin 150mg.  This was last Tues.  By Sat it shrnk to a puffy little pillow which burst open and bled profusely  while eating.  The area gets almost flat like normal again but after it bleeds it sellls abit and then starts all over.  Going back for a folow up in three days.  What could it be?

ANSWER: Tom -  Unfortunately I cannot be completely sure without examining you, but what you describe sounds like a nasopalatine cyst.  There is a canal behind and between the front two teeth and a cyst formation there is not uncommon.  It sounds like the dentist and ENT doctors are not familiar with this lesion.  My suggestion is to have yourself examined by a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  Most likely the cyst will need to be removed to allow the area to completely heal.

I wish you well and hope a surgeon can help you.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response Dr.  Is this kind of cyst a dangerous thing?  I have never used tobacco and rarely have Tuesday.  Its been a little scary.  Admitteldly going to a surgeon is not easy for me. Today it is almost smooth again with only minor swelling along that ridgeline.  Last Tuesday the swelling would have been a 10---today its like a 4 or 5.

Thanks again!


Tom -First of all, this cyst is not dangerous, but it can continue to grow.  Yes, now that it has drained it is smaller, but there will still be fluids produced within the cyst to again expand it.  Expansion will allow the cyst to grow larger and larger.  It is not dangerous to your survival, but it can cause a breakdown of the gum tissue on the palate and create an ulceration that can be uncomfortable and dangerous.  So do yourself a favor, and when you can, make an appointment with a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to remove the cystic area.


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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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