Q: My son has developed a cyst around an impacted wisdom tooth! What do we need to do now?
A: A cyst is benign but can grow to a large size and cause damage to the adjacent teeth and their supporting bone. In extreme cases, I have seen them become so large that the jawbone actually breaks. The cyst and the associated tooth must be removed as soon as possible. Cysts and other problems can develop around impacted teeth. When a tooth doesn’t erupt normally, the cells that formed the tooth remain inside the body instead of being destroyed during the eruption process. Just like “An idle mind is the Devil’s playground,” these idle cells often cause trouble. There is general agreement among dentists that complications of third molar surgery can be minimized if the patient is a young adult. The roots of fully developed third molars in mature adults can grow to become entangled with adjacent nerves and other structures. Removal before maturity prevents this.