Friday, January 26, 2024

What is the difference between a lateral radicular cyst and a lateral periodontal cyst

Lateral Radicular Cysts and Lateral Periodontal Cysts:

Both lateral radicular cysts and lateral periodontal cysts are types of jaw cysts, but they have some key differences in their origin, location, and clinical presentation. Here's a breakdown:

Lateral Radicular Cyst (LRC):

- Origin:

Develops from the remnants of epithelial cells left behind during tooth development within the root canal.

- Location:

Typically found at the apex (tip) of a non-vital (dead) tooth or on the lateral aspect of the root if a lateral canal is infected.

- Clinical presentation:

  • May be asymptomatic (no symptoms) or present with mild pain, swelling, or tooth sensitivity.
  • Radiographically appears as a rounded or oval radiolucency (dark area) at the apex of the tooth, often associated with root resorption.

- Treatment:

Usually requires removal of the affected tooth and the cyst sac, followed by root canal treatment or extraction depending on the severity.

Lateral Periodontal Cyst (LPC):

- Origin:

Considered to be a developmental cyst, arising from remnants of the dental lamina (a band of tissue that forms the tooth bud during development).

- Location:

Situated alongside the lateral surface of the root of a vital (healthy) tooth, usually between the alveolar crest (bone edge) and the root apex.

- Clinical presentation:

  • Often asymptomatic, but may cause slight swelling or gum recession in advanced cases.
  • Radiographically appears as a well-defined, round or teardrop-shaped radiolucency on the lateral aspect of the tooth root.

- Treatment:

Often managed conservatively with periodic monitoring and good oral hygiene. Surgical removal may be necessary in larger cysts or those causing significant symptoms.

Key Differences:

Here's a table summarizing the key differences:


Lateral Radicular Cyst

Lateral Periodontal Cyst


Infected tooth debris

Dental lamina remnants

Tooth vitality

Non-vital (dead)

Vital (healthy)


Apex or lateral surface of root

Lateral surface of root

Radiographic appearance

Rounded/oval radiolucency at apex, associated with root resorption

Well-defined, round/teardrop radiolucency on lateral surface


Removal of tooth and cyst, root canal or extraction

Conservative monitoring, surgical removal if necessary