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Dental and Oral Health Center

Jaw anomoly caused by violin playing

04/04/2008

Question:

I recently had a panoramic X-ray taken, which revealed a noticeable circular radiopaque mass, approximately 1 cm in diameter, between root apexes 19 & 20. There is no pain or noticeable lump of any kind. I am a violin player and find that the pressure of my instrument against the lower jaw is focused near where this mass appears on the X-ray. Could there be a relationship between the pressing of my violin chinrest against the jawbone and an increase in bone mass/density or cyst development?

Answer:

Although you referred to a radiopaque mass, from the rest of your question, I am assuming that this is a radiopaque area on the radiograph. It is very common to see an increase in density in the bone near an area of increased stress. This increase in density shows up as a radiopaque area in radiographs. It is very possible that your years of placing pressure on the same area of your jaw resulted in an increase in bone density in that area and thus an area of radiopacity.

Since there is no swelling or pain, this is most likely a benign lesion. An oral pathologist could give you a definitive diagnosis, as there are several types of these benign lesions. It is not a cyst, as they appear as an area of radiolucency on a radiograph, not as a radiopacity.

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University