Lateral periodontal cysts are benign odontogenic cysts. They account for between 0.8% and 1.5% of all maxillary cysts. The etiology is unknown. They are defined as nonkeratinized and noninflammatory developmental cysts located adjacent or lateral to the root of a vital tooth.
These cysts arise along the lateral periodontium or within the bone between the roots of erupted vital teeth. The most common region affected is the mandible premolar region followed by the upper lateral incisor and canine regions. The typical size of lateral periodontal cysts is between 5 mm and 10 mm. The pulp vitality of the teeth around the cyst is usually not affected.
Lateral periodontal cysts usually affect individuals between 50 and 60 years of age. There is no special predilection for any ethnicity.
From the radiographic standpoint, lateral periodontal cysts are round, oval, or teardrop-shaped. They appear as a well-localized, well-defined, and well-corticated radiolucency. The most common location is in between the apex and the cementoenamel junction.
The histopathology examination reveals a thin, nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium resembling reduced enamel epithelium.
The treatment is surgical excision of the complete cyst. Patients have an excellent prognosis if the whole cyst is removed.
Our appreciation is extended to Dr. Juan Yepes, Indiana University School of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Riley Hospital for Children, for contributing this case.
Neville BW, Damm DD, Allen CM, Bouquot JE. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier; 2009.