You are here:

Dentistry/cyst in maxillofacial area


Hi Dr Teig,
I recently had a diagnosis of a cyst above a back tooth in the maxilliary area. There had been some swelling there for some time that my dentist failed to diagnose, although this swelling was painless after an initial bout of a couple of days pain.

Six months ago I started to use a salt water rinse and overnight the swelling 'burst' taking with it some bone and soft tissue. The soft tissue seemed to regenerate very quickly though and now the area feels normal apart from a foul tasting discharge every now and then.

The cyst was seen on a CT scan and I am due to have this removed. My concern though is that the cyst is cancerous, as my consultant said that it may or may not be, which has made me very worried. I have no other 'red flag' but wondered what the odds were?

Also on a side note, would this area ever be suitable for a dental implant or should I consider a denture?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Stuart-it is a little difficult for me to give you the chances of the lesion being benign or cancerous just from your description.  Most likely in the area you describe the cystic area is benign.  If the gum break through is red, inflamed and bleeds frequently, then that would be more likely can certified, but not from your description of the area.

The choice of a dental implant or other dental appliance would be based on the pathology results.  Take one step at a time and ha e the area removed, let the area heal and then decide side on appropriate treatment to replace the tooth.

I wish you well.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.