About Cementoblastoma: Development & Treatment

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Cementoblastoma is a long name for a certain rare, benign growth that appears on the root of a tooth. Dull pain is often the only symptom of the growth, or you might not notice any symptoms at all. If left untreated, however, a cementoblastoma can keep growing. Eventually a cementoblastoma may become visible and distort the appearance of the face.

Benign Cementoblastomas

Cementoblastomas grow from cementum, a substance that coats the roots of the teeth. Cementum is softer than enamel, but it helps protect the tooth pulp and nerves. Very rarely, certain cells in the cementum grow uncontrollably at the tip of a tooth root. The mineralized growth is usually confined to one tooth root, but it can spread to others and the surrounding bone.

Medical professionals sometimes use the name benign cementoblastomas. However, these growths are never malignant, so as an article in the Journal of the Korean Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons explains, the World Health Organization removed the word "benign" and settled on calling the growths cementoblastomas in 2005. Other names for cementoblastomas in scientific literature include cementomas, true cementomas and sclerosing cementomas.

Who Develops Cementoblastomas?

Men or women in their second or third decade of life are most likely to develop a cementoblastoma. According to an article in the International Journal of Scientific Study, of all the reported cases the researchers studied, around 50 percent of the patients were under 20 years of age and 75 percent were younger than 30.

Cementoblastomas can also occur in children and older adults and happen equally in men and women.

Treating Cementoblastomas

Treatment of a cementoblastoma involves removing the growth and the affected tooth or teeth. Though cementoblastomas are not malignant, they never stop growing. Over time, the growths can interfere with the function of the teeth and can distort the facial appearance. The best treatment is surgical removal of the cementoblastoma and the affected tooth, which is usually a lower premolar or molar. It's important to also remove the tooth because if it remains, there's a risk of the growth reappearing.

Cementoblastomas are rare, but other dental conditions can cause similar symptoms. If you have pain in your tooth roots or you notice an unexplained lump, see a dentist or physician. When you have a diagnosis you can begin the treatment that's the most effective for your problem.

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What Are The Different Parts Of A Tooth?

Each tooth has several distinct parts; here is an overview of each part:

  • Enamel – this is the outer and hardest part of the tooth that has the most mineralized tissue in the body. It can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.

  • Dentin – this is the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay makes it through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin — where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.

  • Pulp – this is the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are located. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain and may require a root canal procedure.