The pathogenesis of cysts that arise in the jaws is still not certain, and the underlying mechanisms of epithelial proliferation are not fully understood. Cysts of the jaw may involve a reactive, inflammatory, or neoplastic process. Cytogenetics, the study of the number and structure of chromosomes, has provided valuable information about the diagnosis, prognosis, and targeted treatment in many cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cytogenetics can also provide information about the possible aetiology or neoplastic potential of a lesion, though to our knowledge no studies of this technique have been used for cysts in the jaws. In this pilot study we used cytogenetics in a series of 10 cysts (3 radicular, 4 dentigerous, 2 of the nasopalatine duct, and 1 dermoid). In all cases we found normal karyotypes. Further work and larger numbers are needed for a definitive study, but we can hypothesise from this pilot study that these cysts do not have cytogenetic aberrations and so have no neoplastic potential.