After tooth formation is completed at approximately the age of 18 years, remnants of odontogenic tissue remain in the jaws for a lifetime. They are called the epithelial rests of Malassez when located in the periodontal membrane and rests of Serres in the gingiva. These odontogenic epithelial rests along with the epithelial lining of cysts and basal cells of gingival epithelium are thought to be the source of many odonto-genic tumors. Odontogenic tumors are diverse but generally benign, although they may be locally aggressive and grow to considerable size.
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