53 Jaw bone conditions: Radiolucencies and radiopacities
Many diseases of or in the jaws present asymptomatically as radiolucencies, radiopacities or with mixed appearances on imaging. Other presentations are as swellings, pain or sometimes fracture or disturbance of tooth eruption (displaced, missing or loose teeth). Swellings that appear to originate from the jaws may arise from subcutaneous tissues or bones: the mnemonic MINT aids diagnosis:
Malformations, e.g. tori and fibro-osseous lesions
Inflammatory conditions, e.g. odontogenic infections, osteomyelitis, actinomycosis, tuberculosis, or syphilis
Neoplasms and cysts (see below)
Trauma causing subperiosteal hematomas
Radiographic features to be assessed include the lesional size, shape, number, margins, character (radiolucency and/or radiopacity), and effects (displacement of the inferior alveolar nerve or tooth displacement or resorption).
Well-defined radiolucencies are often odontogenic cysts and benign tumors.
Poorly defined radiolucencies are often infections or tumors.
- Odontogenic diseases, inflammation, cyst/>