Monday July 21 2014

What causes eruption cyst?

For babies, the ability to communicate is usually limited to crying. And so as a parent, when you see a physical sign of distress that you did not expect, it becomes a source of concern. This kind of distress usually results from conditions such as eruption cyst. Though not a common occurrence, eruption cyst can happen in teething babies.

An eruption cyst is a bluish swelling that occurs on the soft tissue over an erupting tooth, and commonly happens in babies.

Before they emerge, teeth grow inside a protective enclosure in the jawbones of babies. Once fully developed, baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) will begin to emerge through the jawbone.

As they move down, the teeth will pierce through the gum tissue, and be seen for the first time. This is usually an exciting experience for parents, unless the protective enclosure from early tooth development leaks fluid. And if this happens, and the fluid accumulates, your baby could end up with an eruption cyst (or eruption hematoma). Although this is usually nothing more than a bruise, the dark red, brown, bluish-purple, or translucent and inflamed spot can be a cause of concern for many parents.

Even though eruption cysts can be worrying, Dr Patrick Kyagulanyi, of Dental Solutions at Ham Towers, Makerere Hill Road says they generally do not require treatment. Teething will proceed as normal, in spite of the hematoma.

You can expect the cyst to rupture and heal in a relatively short time, and the tooth will emerge just like any normal teething experience. The bruise will usually heal in a short time. Still, when you see anything unusual with your child’s dental appearance, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible.

Medical procedure
If the eruption cyst lasts several weeks, with no tooth eruption, a simple medical procedure might be necessary to release the tooth. This harmless procedure usually involves extracting fluid from the ruptured cysts.

In case the swelling persists, the dentist can rupture it using a sterile sharp instrument, to allow it drain and also create a slit-like opening in the covering. This procedure subsequently makes it easy for the tooth to penetrate through the gum.

If the slit ruptured area is wide and deep, the dentist might give an anti-biotic and a painkiller. The anti biotic is also necessary for crawling babies because their dirty hands could make it easy to introduce germs or infections to the mouth.

Parents should avoid seeking services of traditional healers when their children have such conditions, as they may rapture the cysts, especially if it is being done under unhygienic conditions.

Dr Patrick Kyagulanyi Senior dental surgeon Dental Solutions