What are Mucoceles? - Information on Oral Health from the Sacramento Dentistry Group

Mucoceles are benign cysts that form from salivary fluid inside the mouth. This press release discusses the most common causes of mucoceles, how to prevent them and how they are treated.

A mucocele is a round bump, pearly or clear, that forms due to a blocked salivary duct. Damage to the salivary gland is usually the cause of the blockage, which results in this common form of benign cyst. Outside of accidental trauma, other causes of mucoceles include habitual chewing of the soft tissues and irritation from oral appliances, like orthodontics.

Nervous Habits or Braces?

Just as some people bite their nails from habit, others suck or chew on the soft tissues of the mouth. Dentists often encounter mucoceles on the inside of the lips and cheeks for this reason. Many of the salivary ducts are located in the lower jaw and under the tongue, so mucoceles are often seen here, although they also form on the roof of the mouth.

Orthodontics like braces can also inadvertently cause mucoceles by irritating a salivary duct. Likewise, other oral devices that scrape or poke the soft tissues can do the same. The Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences suggests that patients “undergoing orthodontic therapy should be monitored periodically for areas of irritation in the oral mucosa.” This emphasizes the fact that if any orthodontic appliance causes irritation to the soft tissues, a patient should mention it to their dentist at their next orthodontic visit. Likewise, it points to the importance of having the assistance of a dentist when using orthodontics.

Treating Mucoceles

Most mucoceles remain rather small and eventually drain out in a matter of weeks, although there are exceptions. Some last for years and others grow so large that they impede chewing and breathing, but this is fairly rare. Annoying mucoceles are either removed or the blocked salivary gland is repaired so the mucocele drains quickly. Neither procedure should be attempted at home. Professional mucocele treatment is almost always successful.

People dealing with bothersome mucoceles may contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group for treatment by a dentist. Contact may be made by making an appointment online at sacramentodentistry.com or by calling the downtown dental office at 916-538-6900.

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group