Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form under the skin and can be found in the lining of the mouth, in the saliva glands, around the roots of the teeth and in the jaws themselves. The jaws are the most common sites for cysts to develop. They can cause pain and damage to the tooth and jaw if it becomes infected.
Tumors are lumps of tissue, which can sometimes be felt as a swelling in the face or jaw.
The symptoms of cysts and tumors are swelling, pain, tenderness, and unexplained tooth mobility. Tumors are sometimes discovered on routine dental x-rays and others on examinations of the mouth and teeth.
Treatment depends on location and tumor type. Benign tumors may be watched and may not need to be surgically removed. But most tumors do require removal, followed by possible reconstructive surgery. If the tumor is cancerous, the removal will most likely be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.