Odontogenic Tumors Symptoms & Causes

In-Depth

Are all odontogenic tumors the same?

There are several types of odontogenic tumors:

  • Epithelial — These tumors consist of abnormal cells in the cells lining the tissue of the mouth and jaw. They grow slowly, but persistently. They rarely spread to other areas of the body.
  • Mesenchymal — These benign, slow-growing tumors usually infiltrate the bone. The soft, pulpy nature of these tumors can make them difficult to remove.
  • Mixed — These tumors consist of several types of cells, often come back after surgical removal, and transform into fast-growing, invasive tumors.
  • The most common, called an odontoma, is most common before age 20 and can prevent new teeth from developing in children.

What causes odontogenic tumors?

We don’t really know. Researchers continue to look for the causes of these kinds of tumors.

What are the symptoms of odontogenic tumors?

Common symptoms your child may experience include:

  • swelling or pain in the jaw
  • a painless, hard, slowly expanding swelling in the jaw or around the teeth
  • loose teeth
  • a tooth that does not come in

The symptoms of odontogenic tumors vary widely and may resemble other medical conditions. Always talk to your child's physician for a diagnosis.