Pathology of the Hard Tissues of the Jaws

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The mandible and maxilla are unique among the bones in that they contain an overlying osseous structure-the alveolar process-that functions, in the adult, to support 32 highly specialized hard tissue organs, the teeth. As a result of the unique developmental processes involved in the formation of teeth and the fact that these specialized mineralized tissues are continuously exposed to the harsh oral environment, the mandible and maxilla are home to a distinctive set of pathologic entities. This chapter reviews the more common and interesting of these entities: tooth demineralization, dental caries, and odontogenic cysts and tumors. The vast majority of odontogenic cysts and tumors originate in the tooth-bearing areas of the jaws and are characterized by replacement of bone by soft tissue or, less commonly, a mixture of soft and hard tissue. A large number of nonodontogenic cysts, pseudocysts, and tumors also occur in the jaws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrimer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism
Subtitle of host publicationEighth Edition
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781118453926
ISBN (Print)9781118453889
StatePublished - Jul 19 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cysts
  • Dental caries
  • Hard tissues
  • Jaws
  • Tooth demineralization
  • Tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Edwards, P. C. (2013). Pathology of the Hard Tissues of the Jaws. In Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism: Eighth Edition (pp. 922-928). Wiley-Blackwell.