Odontogenic cyst are a group of jaw cysts that are formed from tissues involved in odontogenesis (tooth development). Odontogenic cysts are closed sacs, and have a distinct membrane derived from rests of odontogenic epithelium. It may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material. Intra-bony cysts are most common in the jaws, because the mandible and maxilla are the only bones with epithelial components. That odontogenic epithelium is critical in normal tooth development. However, epithelial rests may be the origin for the cyst lining later. Not all oral cysts are odontogenic cyst. For example, mucous cyst of the oral mucosa and nasolabial duct cyst are not of odontogenic origin.
In addition, there are several conditions with so-called (radiographic) 'pseudocystic appearance' in jaws; ranging from anatomic variants such as Stafne static bone cyst, to the aggressive aneurysmal bone cyst.
The cysts are classified under three main headings:
- Cysts of the jaws
- Epithelial lined
- Developmental origin
- Odontogenic, meaning arising from odontogenic tissues
- Non-odontogenic, meaning cysts arising from ectoderm involved in the development of the facial tissues
- Inflammatory origin
- Developmental origin
- Not epithelial lined
- Epithelial lined
- Cysts associated with the maxillary antrum
- Cysts of the soft tissues of the mouth, face, neck and salivary glands
Classification I. Cysts of the jaws A. Epithelial-lined cysts 1. Developmental origin (a) Odontogenic i. Gingival cyst of infants ii. Odontogenic keratocyst iii. Dentigerous cyst iv. Eruption cyst v. Gingival cyst of adults vi. Developmental lateral periodontal cyst vii. Botryoid odontogenic cyst viii. Glandular odontogenic cyst ix. Calcifying odontogenic cyst (b) Non-odontogenic i. Midpalatal raphé cyst of infants ii. Nasopalatine duct cyst iii. Nasolabial cyst 2. Inflammatory origin i. Radicular cyst, apical and lateral ii. Residual cyst iii. Paradental cyst and juvenile paradental cyst iv. Inflammatory collateral cyst B. Non-epithelial-lined cysts 1. Solitary bone cyst 2. Aneurysmal bone cyst II. Cysts associated with the maxillary antrum 1. Mucocele 2. Retention cyst 3. Pseudocyst 4. Postoperative maxillary cyst III. Cysts of the soft tissues of the mouth, face and neck 1. Dermoid and epidermoid cysts 2. Lymphoepithelial (branchial) cyst 3. Thyroglossal duct cyst 4. Anterior median lingual cyst (intralingual cyst of foregut origin) 5. Oral cysts with gastric or intestinal epithelium (oral alimentary tract cyst) 6. Cystic hygroma 7. Nasopharyngeal cyst 8. Thymic cyst 9. Cysts of the salivary glands: mucous extravasation cyst; mucous retention cyst; ranula; polycystic (dysgenetic) disease of the parotid 10. Parasitic cysts: hydatid cyst; Cysticercus cellulosae; trichinosis
- Buccal bifurcation cyst
- Calcifying odontogenic cyst
- Dentigerous cyst (associated with the crowns of non-erupted teeth)
- Glandular odontogenic cyst
- Keratocyst (in the jaws, these can appear solitary or associated with the Gorlin-Goltz or Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. The latest World Health Organization classification considers Keratocysts as tumors rather than cysts)
- Paradental cyst
- Periapical cyst (The periapical cyst, otherwise known as radicular cyst, is the most common odontogenic cyst.)
- Radicular cyst (associated with the roots of non-vital teeth, also known as Periapical cyst)
- Residual cyst
- Calcifying odotogenic cyst
- According to the current (2005) classification of the World Health Organization, both (parakeratizied) odontogenic keratocyst and calcifying odotogenic cyst have neoplastic characteristics, thus renamed as Keratocystic odontogenic tumor and Calcifying odotogenic tumor, respectively.
- Cystic ameloblastoma
- Long standing dentigerous cyst, odontogenic keratocyst, and residual cyst may have neoplastic potential converting into the locally aggressive ameloblastoma, or the malignant squamous cell carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
Treatment ranges from simple enucleation of the cyst to curettage to resection. For example, small radicular cyst may resolved after succsseful endodontic ("root-canal") treatment. Because of high recurrence potential and aggressive behaviour, curettage is recommended for keratocyst. However, the conservative enucleation is the treatment of choice for most odontogenic cysts. The removed cyst must be evaluated by pathologist to confirm the diagnosis, and to rule out other neoplastic lesions with similar clinical or radiographic features (e.g., cystic or solid ameloblastoma, central mucoepidermoid carcinoma).  There are cysts, e.g. buccal bifurcation cyst with self-resolation nature, in which close observation can be employed unless the cyst is infected and symptomatic.
- Zadik, Yehuda; Aktaş Alper; Drucker Scott; Nitzan W Dorrit (2012). "Aneurysmal bone cyst of mandibular condyle: A case report and review of the literature". J Craniomaxillofac Surg 40. doi:10.1016/j.jcms.2011.10.026. PMID 22118925.
- Shear, Mervyn; Speight, Paul (2007). Cysts of the oral and maxillofacial regions (4th ed. ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Munksgaard. ISBN 978-14051-4937-2.
- Pou, Anna. "Odontogenic cysts and tumors". UTMB Department of otolaryngology. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Zadik Y, Yitschaky O, Neuman T, Nitzan DW (May 2011). "On the Self-Resolution Nature of the Buccal Bifurcation Cyst". J Oral Maxillofac Surg 20 (5): e15. doi:10.1016/j.joms.2011.02.124. PMID 21571416.