20-year Follow-up of Recurrent Glandular Odontogenic Cyst Mimicking a Periapical Lesion

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Periapical lesions usually are caused by root canal infection; nevertheless, other pathologies may eventually involve the tooth apex, making the correct diagnosis more difficult. Glandular odontogenic cysts (GOCs) are uncommon and, despite their cystic nature, may present an aggressive behavior and a high recurrence rate. This report describes a recurrent GOC mimicking a periapical lesion that was followed up for 20 years. A 45-year-old woman described tooth discomfort for several years in the anterior region of the mandible that was not exacerbated during eating or occlusion. Clinical examination revealed no signs of swelling, redness, or inflammation in the gingival or surrounding soft tissue. Nevertheless, periapical radiography showed a well-defined large radiolucent lesion in the periapical region of teeth #22, #23, #24, and #25. The pulp test confirmed that all these teeth were vital. An incisional biopsy was performed, and with the histopathological diagnosis of an odontogenic cyst, the lesion was enucleated surgically. After recurrence, the extensive periapical multilocular lesions were again surgically removed. Based on the microscopic findings, the final diagnosis was GOC. One year later, there were no signs of recurrence. GOCs associated with the root apex may mimic periapical inflammatory diseases. Clinical, radiographic, and histopathological findings are essential for the diagnosis of inconclusive radiolucent findings in the periapical region. Biopsy specimens should be sent to a specialized oral pathology laboratory.

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