An oral mucocele may be a harmless, fluid-containing (cyst-like) swelling of the lip or mouth lining (mucosa) thanks to mucus from the tiny salivary glands of the mouth leaking into the soft tissue, usually from injury (trauma) or blockage of the gland. A similar lesion, the mucus-retention cyst, occurs from blockage and backup of saliva within the gland.
Who's at risk?
Mucoceles occur most ordinarily in children or young adults. There could also be a history of trauma or lip biting. The similar-appearing mucus-retention cysts occur more often in older adults and with none history of preceding trauma. Tartar-control toothpaste could be the cause in some mucoceles.
Signs and Symptoms
Mucoceles usually occur on the lower lip and inner a part of the cheek, as these are frequent areas of mouth trauma, but they will occur anywhere inside the mouth. A mucocele is typically one bump with a small bluish or normal complexion, varying in size from 1/2 to 1 inch, and it's soft and painless. A mucocele may appear suddenly, while a mucus-retention cyst may slowly enlarge.
Many mucoceles will get away on their own in 3–6 weeks. Mucus-retention cysts often last longer. Avoid the habit of chewing or sucking on the lips or cheek when these lesions are present.
When to Seek Medical Care
See your doctor if the bump persists for over 2 months or if it's growing, bleeding, interfering with talking or chewing, or painful.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
If the doctor isn't sure of the diagnosis, a biopsy could also be done. Minor surgery could also be suggested to get rid of the lesion.
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