5 Things Parents Need To Know About Adenomatoid Odontogenic Tumors

Adenomatoid odontogenic tumors are tumors that grow around a developing tooth. Here are five things parents need to know about them.

What symptoms do they cause?

Usually, adenomatoid odontogenic tumors are asymptomatic. In these cases, they are noticed by dentists after routine x-rays are taken.

Sometimes, these tumors cause mild symptoms like swelling in the area around the tumor. The tumor can also be associated with a missing tooth, so if one of your child's teeth fails to erupt, a tumor may be to blame. If the tumor grows large enough, it can displace nearby teeth and lead to crooked or crowded teeth. If you notice these signs, take your child to a dentist.

Why do adentomatoid odontogenic tumors form?

It's still not known why these tumors form. Researchers think that the tumors develop from the dental lamina, a band of tissue that forms above a developing tooth bud. The tooth bud is a group of cells within the jaw bone that will later develop into a tooth.

Normally, the dental lamina is supposed to dissolve and resorb into the body, but for some reason, it remains and forms a tumor. More research needs to be done to confirm this theory and to figure out why it happens.

Are they serious?

These tumors are benign and will therefore not become cancerous, but they are still a concern. They tend to reach sizes of between 1.5 and 3 centimeters (0.6 and 1.2 inches), but some of them can grow even larger. These large tumors can displace nearby teeth and lead to bite alignment problems.

If these tumors are left alone, it's likely that they will shrink on their own, but since it's possible for them to reach large sizes, your child's dentist may not want to risk waiting.

How are they treated?

The preferred treatment for adentomatoid odontogenic tumors is surgical removal. The procedure used is known as enucleation with curettage. The entire tumor will be removed as well as a margin of healthy bone tissue around the tumor. A margin is removed to reduce the risk of recurrence. Bone grafting may be required to replace tissue removed by this procedure. With this procedure, recurrence of the tumor is very rare.

Are adenomatoid odontogenic tumors common?

These tumors are uncommon. When they do occur, they typically affect people between 12 and 20 years old. The tumors are more common in females than in males. They usually occur around the canine teeth and are never found behind the premolars.

If you are concerned about adenomatoid odontogenic tumors, take your child to the dentist, like those at Round Lake Dental Clinic, right away.