Odontogenic keratocysts are soft, slow-growing lesion usually found in the lower jaw. They present themselves a as smooth swelling that can vary greatly in size, from a small, well-defined growth to an extremely large mass with many sections. It can grow to become so large that it expands the jaw on each side of the face and displaces teeth. Odontogenic keratocysts are the most aggressive cysts of the jaw, and show a high tendency to recur, even after the original cyst is removed. In fact, it's not unusual to experience three or four episodes of recurrence. Odontogenic keratocysts occur slightly more frequently in black males, usually in their mid-thirties. Their development seems to be initiated as the tooth forms within the jaw; they are also often associated with skeletal abnormalities and multiple basal cell carcinomas, a condition known as basal cell nevus syndrome. Odontogenic keratocysts are characterized by a thin wall that often encloses a mushy mass of keratin, a protein substance. These lesions are normally not painful, unless they become infected. Frequently, several smaller cysts (called "daughter cysts") develop in the main cyst's wall; this may account for the high recurrence rate.

* We will thoroughly remove the cyst by surgically scraping it away from the bony walls; this procedure is called curettage.

* We will then closely monitor the area with frequent follow-up examinations to be sure that new lesions do not develop.

technique known as marsupialization. In this procedure, a portion of the cyst wall is removed, and the borders are sutured to the existing mouth lining, forming a pouch. The cyst cavity will then heal gradually from the inside outward.