Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

There are many types of bumps, growths and sores that can form in the oral cavity, one of them being mucoceles. What are they, why do they occur and how many people experience one in their lifetime? Read on to learn about the symptoms and how they can be treated.

What Are They?

A mucocele, also known as a mucous cyst, is a clear or bluish bump that can be found on the lips, floor or roof of the mouth, or tongue. They may get in the way of chewing, speaking, swallowing, and in some cases, breathing. Luckily they may dissolve on their own, though they may last several years, according to the U.S. National Library of Health (NIH).

Formation and Commonality

Most mucoceles occur from trauma to the site, either by a blow or blunt object to the site, or accidental biting of the tissue, around the area of the injury, according to NIH. This type of growth is fairly common, but only a small percentage (less than 1 per cent) require any type of surgical intervention or treatment

Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms are usually not painful, especially if the mucocele is small. Usually, they are only a few centimetres in diameter. If it is painful, it would be sensitive only to direct touching. Since it is categorized as a type of cyst, some of them resolve by the fluid being released either by itself or by draining the fluid with a medical professional during a surgical procedure. Mucoceles can, however, recur, so different types of procedures may be tried to remove the lesion. Follow-up appointments will need to be made, to ensure that mucoceles do not reappear, such as when you treat the area more aggressively by removing it entirely, which may require stitches.

After removal, it is important to keep the oral cavity clean, and use of an antibacterial mouth rinse.

Treatment and prevention of mucoceles can be handled by most dentists, but some dentists may refer patients to an oral surgeon for more definitive treatment. This will ensure patients get the right treatment and enjoy a lifetime of good dental health.