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In general terms, cysts are benign growths that can happen anywhere on the body. In some cases, cysts can transform into malignancy and pets must be immediately taken to a vet before it becomes life-threatening. Cysts in the gums of dogs are also known as dentigerous cysts. These cysts grow as lesions which can affect the bone, tissue and teeth if left untreated. In time, they become painful and almost unbearable for the dog. Dentigerous cysts are the most common type of cysts in dogs and often happen in premolars first.Causes
The leading cause of these types of cysts is breed. Genetics plays a huge role in determining which type of breed will be prone to dentigerous cysts and which ones won’t. Other than genetics, crowded teeth, un-erupted teeth and trauma to the mouth may lead to cyst formation on their gums.Diagnosis
A vet will look closely for the physical characteristics that define a cyst. Next, he/she will do a clinical test and/or imaging to understand what’s happening in the mouth and perhaps what’s causing it. Other tests may be required to declare the growth as a cyst and not a tumor or an oral infection.Treatment
Treatment options depend on the cyst formation and the condition of the dog. One or more of the following options may be used to remove the cyst.Surgery – It is the primary method for removing cysts in dogs. This also allows the surgeon to remove the lining entirely and clean the area affected so as not to leave behind any debris. To be on the safe side, a surgeon may send a tissue sample to the lab for examination. This is to ensure that there won’t be any additional growths with the cyst.Root canal – A root canal is performed only when the affected tooth is dead. Extraction may lead to weakening of the jaw.Grafting – It is a good option when the cyst damages the bone. The vet will use a graft replacement for the damaged bone. This is usually not a treatment method to remove the cyst but is often done in tandem with surgery. It helps strengthen the jaw.Recovery
Recovery is an important preventive measure as it ensures that the formation of another cyst is kept at bay. In most cases, pet owners are advised to provide softer foods to their pets. In addition, they are also advised to provide plenty of water as it helps in the recovery process. Medications may be provided to alleviate pain. Scheduled visits to the vet is strongly recommended as a new cyst formation, if any, can be diagnosed and treated at the earliest.