Odontoma: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, Treatment and Research

It is a specific type of tumor that is benign, and that is found in the mouth. It is made of all or some tissues that make up your teeth.

However, these issues may or may not be arranged in the form of a tooth. It may not be visible to the naked eye.

It is a mass of enamel, dentine, pulp, and cement that usually grows at the same rate as the teeth. However, this mass is disorganized, and any component can become the dominant part.

The odontoma is found more frequently in people around 14 years old as a tooth has not emerged. The most complex odontoma is found in men up to 30. However, the most recent data indicate that these tumors are found in both sexes.

Types of odontoma

There are two general types of odontoma; some are more serious than others: common odontoma and complex odontoma. These are defined in more detail by specific components. They are described in part by their location and origin:

  • Ameloblástico.
  • Compound.
  • Radicular.
  • Temporal.


There are many symptoms of odontoma, but they are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. One that is serious is the difficulty in swallowing ( dysphagia ).

If a tooth is delayed when it must be erupting, that is another sign that something is not correct. If you lump the gum, it could be a symptom of odontoma. Some may be confused initially with an impacted wisdom tooth.


You could also have a primary tooth that does not come out as it should. Also, if the bone under your tooth enlarges, your dentist will notice it as a possible sign of odontoma.

These are some reasons why you need to maintain a good connection with your dentist. In this way, the dentist becomes familiar with his teeth and his oral affections.

Diagnosis of the odontoma

The odontoma usually shows no external symptoms. These tumors are revealed when the dentist examines the X-rays. At the same time, a delayed tooth or an absent tooth may indeed suggest the need for a more detailed examination.

The presence of a tumor of dental origin requires further examination to determine what type of tumor it is before other measures are taken. In addition, the histological diagnosis of the extracted tissue provides valuable information to the dentist.

Histology and causes

No one knows why an odontoma is formed. The most likely reasons are trauma and infection at the site. Some dentists and researchers believe that they are hereditary or develop because of genetic mutations.

An example of a hereditary syndrome is known as Gardener’s syndrome. It is responsible for a wide range of tumors in the body, including the occasional odontoma. All dental tissues are found at the cellular level but in a weird combination when examined at the cellular level.

The pulp, dentin, enamel, and cement sometimes look like a tooth-like structure in a compound odontoma. These denticles are found in a layer of supporting fibrous cells surrounding them. Since it is decalcified, the enamel is seen as spaces around tiny dental structures.

You can see the material as a solid mass or as multiple, small, tooth-like bodies visible by X-rays. Because it is easily separated from its bony location, it can be distinguished from other possible tumors.

A complex odontoma does not have a specific sequence for all dental tissue. It does not look like a standard tooth structure. It appears as mainly tubular dentine at the cellular level that encloses hollow spaces.

These circular spaces are decalcified, but once they have enamel. There may be a thin layer of cement at the edges that forms a capsule-like tissue surrounding the mass.

Computed tomography findings for the odontoma

The CT findings refer to the images found by X-ray enhanced by computed tomography (a layered view). These advanced technology images help the dentist see what’s inside the tumor before undergoing surgery to remove it.

Each one is unique in its formation, and each disposition of the dental tissue can determine what type of structure it has. Sometimes, a complex odontoma can extend into the nasal cavity and require special attention.

It is essential to perform a complete examination beyond a simple x-ray to obtain this additional information. It is sometimes recommended to get magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to analyze a complex mass comprehensively.

Treatment of the odontoma

The only natural treatment for these dental tumors is removal by surgery. Early discovery and treatment will be beneficial for the patient.

It is a benign tumor made of dental tissue and is a reasonably simple extraction in most cases. In general, a rapid recovery is expected. Some complex tumors can cause complications after extraction. Therefore, it is essential to keep in touch with your surgeon.


How often is each of these dental anomalies? Which are more common? After reviewing 104 cases, 67 were identified as compounds, and 32 were diagnosed as complexes. It is rare to find both types or multiple odontomas. Only 5 of these cases were found in this study.