Odontogenic Tumors

Also known as: odontogenic cysts, jaw tumors, jaw cysts.

What are odontogenic tumors?

Odontogenic tumor is the medical term for a growth or cyst that affects the jaw. They range greatly in size and severity and most are benign (non-cancerous; non-spreading). In rare cases they may be cancerous (malignant) and may spread. There are several different types of tumors/cysts that grow differently, have different causes and may require different treatment approaches.

What causes odontogenic tumors? 

In some types of odontogenic tumor there is an inherited basis, in others it’s caused by a genetic mutation. Some are part of a genetic syndrome, while in others no cause is known.

What are the symptoms of odontogenic tumors?

Common symptoms include a swelling with/without pain in the jaw; loose (or difficult to extract) teeth and difficulty with mouth movement.

What are odontogenic tumors care options?

Treatments vary depending on the type of tumor/cyst present. Some odontogenic tumors just require ongoing observation. Others require surgical or other type of removal.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/23/2018 3:28:32 PM


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January Patient of the Month: Layla
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When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.