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J Clin Exp Dent. 2013 Feb 1;5(1):e42-7. doi: 10.4317/jced.51011. eCollection 2013 Feb 1.

Appraisal of jaw swellings in a Nigerian tertiary healthcare facility.

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Lecturer/Consultant. Department of Oral Pathology, University of Ibadan/University College Hospital. Ibadan, Nigeria.
Lecturer/Consultant. Department of Oral and maxillofacial surgery, University of Ibadan/University College Hospital. Ibadan, Nigeria.



The mandible and maxilla can be the site of myriads of lesions that may be categorized as neoplastic, cystic, reactive and infective or inflammatory. Literature reviewing jaw swellings in an amalgamated fashion are uncommon, probably because aetiologies for these swellings are varied. However, to appreciate their relative relationship, it is essential to evaluate the clinico-pathologic profile of jaw swellings. The aim of this appraisal is to describe the array of jaw swellings seen at our hospital from 1990 to 2011, to serve as a reference database.


Biopsy records of all histologically diagnosed cases of jaw swellings seen at the department of Oral Pathology, University College Hospital between January 1990 and December 2011 were retrieved, coded and inputted into SPSS version 20. Data on prevalence, age, sex, site and histological diagnosis were analysed descriptively for each category of jaw swellings. All patients below 16 years were regarded as children.


A total of 638 jaw swellings were recorded in the 22-year study period. The Non Odontogenic Tumours (NOT) were the commonest, accounting for 46.2% of all jaw swellings. Odontogenic Tumours (OT) formed 45% of all adult jaw swelling while it formed 25.2% in children and adolescents. Ameloblastoma was the commonest while the most common NOT was ossifying fibroma (OF). Chronic osteomyelitis of the jaws was about 6 times commoner in adult females than males and mostly involved the mandible. The most common malignant jaw swelling was Burkitts' lymphoma (BL) that was about 7 times more in children than adults. Osteogenic sarcoma was the most common malignancy in adults.


Jaw swellings are extensively varied in types and pattern of occurrence. This study has categorized jaw swellings in a simple but comprehensive fashion to allow for easy referencing in local and international data acquisition and epidemiological comparison. Key words:Jaw swellings, odontogenic, Nigeria.

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