Ameloblastoma is a rare, and slowly progressing tumor that typically occurs in the jaw, particularly in the area behind the molars or rear teeth. This tumor originates from the cells responsible for forming the protective enamel on teeth. It is most commonly diagnosed in individuals aged 30 to 60 years.
While ameloblastomas are usually non-cancerous, they have the potential to transform into malignant forms. If left untreated, these tumors can cause damage to the jawbone and the surrounding structures of the mouth.
The aggressive form of ameloblastoma is the most common type, growing as a large tumor within the jawbone.
Treatment may involve surgical procedures and radiation therapy. In some cases, reconstructive surgery may be necessary to restore the jaw, teeth, and facial features.
Ameloblastoma tends to exhibit slow growth and often remains asymptomatic for an extended period, sometimes going undiagnosed for ten to twenty years. If left untreated, this tumor can substantially increase in size, resulting in distortion of the lower face and jaw structure, as well as misalignment of the teeth.
Potential signs and symptoms of ameloblastoma encompass:
If any of the signs and symptoms are observed, consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Ameloblastoma occurs when the ameloblasts, responsible for tooth enamel growth, continue growing after the enamel has been established. Although the exact cause is still unclear, researchers are exploring potential factors like genetic changes, gum disease or inflammation, and viral infections.
Ameloblastomas can be categorized based on both their type and cell characteristics. The four primary types include:
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