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What are Cyst on the Gums?

Cysts on the gums in dogs are benign growths or lesions that can become larger and fill with fluid. Also known as dentigerous cysts, they can contain embedded teeth or teeth that have not yet erupted. If not treated, they can cause damage to the bone, tissue, and teeth. They can become very painful, and once the dog develops the associated symptoms, they are hard to ignore, thus prompting a trip to the veterinarian.

The first premolars are the teeth that are most likely to be affected by dentigerous cysts. They are also the most common type of cysts found in the mouths of dogs. It is highly important to maintain regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian so that any cyst on the gums can be found in the very early stages.

Fortunately, veterinarians are aware of what to look for and what breeds are more susceptible to acquiring these types of cysts. Dentigerous cysts can due to a dog's genetics or other factors.

Cysts on the gums in dogs, or dentigerous cysts, occur when a tooth or teeth have become embedded under the gum from overcrowding or other reasons. This type of cyst forms under the gum, yet on top of the embedded tooth, producing pain and inflammation.

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Cyst on the Gums Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Cyst on the Gums in Dogs

When a dog has a cyst on the gum, it usually goes unnoticed in the beginning, unless the dog has received a recent veterinarian visit. Once the cyst begins to “form” or grow, symptoms that occur are:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Swollen jaw or face
  • Mouth pain
  • A space in the gum where a tooth should be
  • A lump that can be felt along the gum line

Types

Cysts form on the gums of dogs occur more often in certain breeds. Small breeds and breeds with shorter muzzle (brachycephalics) tend to suffer from this condition more than others; which can become quite troublesome if not found early. Damage to the tooth, the bone, and the gum tissue can occur if the cyst grows over time. The breeds more susceptible to dentigerous cysts are:

  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Boxer
  • Boston Terrier
  • Pekingese
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Causes of Cyst on the Gums in Dogs

Causes of dentigerous cysts depend on the breed, as many breeds are genetically prone to getting these cysts. It is important to regularly check the mouth for missing teeth in a puppy, to be sure none are embedded, and if they are, to get treatment. Causes include:

  • Embedded teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw or mouth
  • Genetics
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Diagnosis of Cyst on the Gums in Dogs

The veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination, and if the symptoms are present, will focus on the mouth, face, and jaw areas. He will perform testing, such as imaging (radiography) to get a closer look as to what is happening to cause any lump or other symptoms that are noted. 

The veterinarian will differentiate between the types of oral growths that can occur, such as a cyst, tumor, granuloma, or abscess and the radiograph will help the veterinarian determine the precise type of any cyst that is present.

What the veterinarian will see in the image is a tooth that has not yet come through the gum that is surrounded by a lesion that is shown on the radiograph. He may also see damage to the tooth, bone, or gum tissue from the imaging. The veterinarian will also be able to tell if the local structures are infected and to what degree.

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Treatment of Cyst on the Gums in Dogs

Depending on the diagnosis, the treatment may vary slightly. If the cyst is large and damage has occurred, then the treatment may be more complex. Treatment options include:

Surgery

Surgery is the prime method for treating cysts on the gums. The veterinarian will remove the cyst, including the entire lining. He will then “clean out” the affected area where the cyst was to remove any debris or infection. The cyst may also be sent off to a lab to be sure it is not a different type of growth other than a dentigerous cyst.

Root Canal

If the tooth affected is a “dead” tooth, the veterinarian will perform a root canal on the tooth to keep the tooth intact. Tooth extraction is not always an option because more damage to the jaw bone may occur during the extraction. 

Grafting

If the bone was damaged, the veterinarian will choose to use a synthetic bone to replace the lost bone that has occurred. This will strengthen the bone of the jaw, if necessary. This can be accomplished during the surgery. Bone grafting is not always needed, especially if the cyst was identified in the early stages.

 

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Recovery of Cyst on the Gums in Dogs

After surgery, the veterinarian will give you instructions on aftercare and management. The dog may have to eat softer foods for a little while, and be sure to have him drink plenty of clean water each day. If an infection was present, the veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic and he may prescribe pain medication if he feels the dog will need it for a few days. You may need to keep an eye on him to be sure he is not “pawing” at his mouth so any sutures can stay intact.

Regular visits will be scheduled to check on the healing of the site, and if any complications do occur, the veterinarian will be able to diagnose them early. It is important to keep your appointments right after the surgery to be sure your companion is healing properly. 

Once he is healed and feeling himself again, he can resume a normal, happy life; the prognosis is good for dogs with dentigerous cysts.

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Cyst on the Gums Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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Cyst on the Gums Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pit Bull

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eight

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Mouth Growth

My Bella has this bump on her tongue. We're waiting on blood results from her vet but early this AM it started bleeding now it's purple. Should we be alarmed?

April 8, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, if this continues to grow and get bigger I would have this removed by your vet. Mouth tumors can be cancerous.

April 9, 2021

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Havanese

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7 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Black Growth On Gums

had spay mid-august and a couple of baby teeth removed to make room, can't recall which ones. Now has a black growth on lower gum that appears to be growing around a tooth, but also looks like a tooth could be behind it. Puppy seems to favor chew toys on this side of mouth as well. Vet can't get me in until Thursday

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Without being able to take a close look at the area, it is difficult to say what might be happening. Since your veterinarian knows which teeth were removed, and is able to see your dog, It would be best to have your pet seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Cyst on the Gums Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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