Skin Diseases 2022

Mucocele (bubble in the mouth): what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Mucocele (bubble in the mouth): what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Mucocele (bubble in the mouth): what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

A mucocele, also known as a mucous cyst, is a kind of blister that forms on the lip, tongue, cheeks or roof of the mouth, usually due to a blow to the region, repetitive bites or when a salivary gland suffers a obstruction, which occurs due to fluid accumulation after a salivary vessel ruptures.

This benign lesion can vary in size from a few millimeters to 2 or 3 centimeters in diameter, and does not usually cause pain, unless it is accompanied by some type of injury.

Mucocele is not contagious and usually resolves naturally without the need for treatments. However, in some cases, minor surgery by the dentist may be necessary to remove the cyst and the affected salivary gland.

Mucocele on the lower lip

Mucocele on the lower lip

Main symptoms

Mucocele forms a kind of bubble, which contains mucus inside, being usually painless and transparent or purplish in color. Sometimes it can be confused with canker sores, however canker sores don't usually cause blisters, but ulcers in the mouth.

After some time, the mucocele may regress, or may rupture, after a bite or blow to the region, which may cause a small wound in the area, which heals naturally.

In the presence of symptoms that indicate mucocele and that persist for more than 2 weeks, it is important to undergo an evaluation by the dentist, since there is a type of cancer, called mucoepidermoid carcinoma, which can cause similar symptoms, but which instead of getting better, it usually gets worse over time. Know how to identify other symptoms that indicate oral cancer.

Causes of mucocele

The causes of mucocele are related to the blockage or injury of a salivary gland or duct, and the most common situations include:

  • Bite or suck on lips or inside cheeks;
  • Blows to the face, especially the cheeks;
  • History of other diseases that affect the mucous membranes, such as Sj√∂gren's Syndrome or Sarcoidosis, for example.

Furthermore, mucoceles can also appear in newborns from birth due to blows inflicted during birth, but they rarely require treatment.

Types of mucocele

Mucocele can be classified into two types according to the person's age and cause:

  • Extravasation mucocele: is the most common type and appears between 10 and 30 years of age due to complications in dental surgery, repetitive bites or use of orthodontic appliances;
  • Retained mucocele: this type of mucocele is rarer and usually appears in people over 40 years of age due to obstructions in the glands, which prevents the output of saliva.

Types of mucocele cannot be differentiated with the naked eye, and it is important that the dentist indicates the performance of laboratory tests, as well as taking into account at the time of analysis the age and the associated cause, as it is thus possible to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

How the treatment is done

Mucocele is curable, which usually occurs naturally, with regression of the cyst in a few days without the need for treatment. However, in cases where the lesion grows too large or when there is no natural regression, the dentist may recommend a minor surgery in the office to remove the affected salivary gland and reduce swelling.

This surgery is a simple procedure, which does not require hospitalization and, therefore, the patient can return home a few hours after the treatment, being able to go to work 1 to 2 days after the surgery.

Furthermore, in some cases, the mucocele may reappear, and further surgery may be necessary.

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