By Vishant Nath DMD
A mucocele is an infected salivary gland. It looks and feels like a growth in the mouth. It is most often due to a blockage of the salivary gland, but can also result from trauma to the mouth. Another cause can be certain medications that thicken the saliva. The thicker saliva can block the salivary gland, leading to a mucocele. So what happens if you notice this in your mouth?
Most mouth-related sores heal rather quickly. Anyone who has bitten their tongue or lip will know that these types of injuries can be quite painful when they first occur, but then they are gone in a few days. A mucocele will sometimes heal on it’s own, but if not, it might require more attention.
Mucoceles can be present anywhere you have a salivary gland. This includes on the inner lips, the roof of the mouth, or under the tongue. Mucoceles are not normally painful, but they can be irritating, especially when you eat. They can especially be irritating in children if they keep moving their tongue against it.
Whenever you notice any sort of bump or lump in your or your child’s mouth, it is important to visit your dentist to have it evaluated. The dentist can examine the area and determine the best course of action. If the diagnosis is the presence of a mucocele, you may be referred to an oral surgeon. Normally mucoceles can be easily removed using a scalpel after numbing the area. The tissue can then be sent for pathology to make sure that it is benign, or not cancerous.
Once the proper treatment is completed, it’s important to keep an eye on the area, as the growth can sometimes reoccur. Again, consult your dentist if this is the case.
In any case, it’s best to visit your dentist and have them guide you through the process of determining what the growth may be and the best course of action to take in treating it.