Cemento-Osseous Dysplasia: Definition & Types

Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

What is cemento-osseous dysplasia? What are the various types of this condition? Learn the answers to these questions, and much more, by checking out this lesson!

What is That on My Jaw?

Tina is a 43-year-old who hates to go to the dentist, and hasn't gone in several years. However, Tina's husband convinces her to finally go see her dentist to get a routine cleaning and check-up.

As Tina sat in the dental chair, her heart was nervously racing. Part of the exam included the dentist taking x-rays of her mouth. When the dentist showed Tina the x-rays results, Tina noticed several dark areas where her teeth and jaw bone came together, and she immediately thought those dark areas meant something was terribly wrong. However, the dentist explained to Tina that these spots were called cemento-osseous dysplasia, which is a condition that is not harmful or problematic at all.

What is Cemento-Osseous Dysplasia?

Cemento-osseous dysplasia is a condition that results in the formation of calcified lesions where the teeth connect with the jaw bone. This condition is usually benign (not dangerous) and usually does not require any specific treatments. It is currently not known what exactly causes these lesions to form. However, it seems to be related to the periodontal ligaments producing more collagen that usual (the periodontal ligaments are the tissues that connect the teeth to the jaw.) A dentist can usually diagnose cemento-osseous dysplasia by taking an x-ray of a person's teeth (just like with Tina). In these x-rays, the calcified lesions in the teeth and jaws will appear as dark areas.

Cemento-osseous dysplasia seems to be associated with the periodontal ligament producing more collagen that usual, but it is not known why this occurs.
periodontal ligament

The Different Types of Cemento-Osseous Dysplasia

There are three main types of cemento-osseous dysplasia: florid cemento-osseous dysplasia, focal cemento-osseous dysplasia, and periapical cemento-osseous dysplasia. The following sections will describe each of these specific types.

Florid Cemento-Osseous Dysplasia

Florid cemento-osseous dysplasia involves symmetrical lesions forming in either the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both jaws. Symmetrical lesions mean lesions of the same shape, size, and number form on both sides of the mouth/jaw. Occasionally, florid cemento-osseous dysplasia can result in mild pain and discomfort in the teeth and jaws. Additionally, this type of cemento-osseous dysplasia is most common in Asian and African American middle-aged women.

Focal Cemento-Osseous Dysplasia

Focal cemento-osseous dysplasia involves the lesions forming at the back of the mandible (lower jaw bone), and it is the most common of these three types of cemento-osseous dysplasia. This condition is also most common in middle-aged African American women. Although the exact cause of focal cemento-osseous dysplasia is not known, it seems to have an association with areas in which a tooth has been pulled.

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