Mucocele Surgery
NEW YORK ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
800A Fifth Avenue, Suite 404
New York, NY, 10065
MARK STEIN, D.D.S., M.D.
212.888.4760
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Mucocele Treatment

Mucocele

Often, patients may notice lumps or lesions in the mouth. Mouth lesions can vary widely: some may be soft or rubbery, sore or painless, clear or bluish in color. Often, swelling in the mouth is caused by trauma or blocked salivary ducts. In some cases, swelling or lesions in the mouth may indicate a more serious condition. Any swelling or sores in the mouth that last for longer than a week should be examined by Dr. Stein.

What is a mucocele?

A mucocele (pronounced MYOO-koh-seal) is a small, fluid-filled swelling inside the mouth. Usually caused by an injured or blocked salivary gland, mucoceles are most commonly found inside the lower lip, on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheek, and on the floor of the mouth. In some cases, a mucocele may have a slight bluish color. While mucoceles are usually harmless and painless, they can be inconvenient and annoying, sometimes interfering with eating or speaking. If left untreated, mucoceles may develop permanent scar tissue. Shallow mucoceles may burst, while deeper mucoceles may become sore or painful. Even though mucoceles are generally harmless, any unexplained cyst or swelling in the mouth should be examined by a dentist to rule out more serious conditions.

How do mucoceles form?

The salivary glands in the mouth secrete saliva in order to keep the mouth moist, aid in digestion, and help protect the teeth from decay. Saliva moves into the mouth from the salivary glands through tiny tubes called ducts. When a duct is injured or becomes blocked, a mucocele can form. Mucoceles are common, occurring in approximately 1 out of every 500 adults. Mucoceles are often caused by trauma or lip biting. In other cases, certain medications may thicken the saliva, resulting in blocked salivary ducts.

How are mucoceles diagnosed?

Dr. Stein will examine any swelling or lumps in your mouth to determine their cause. Depending on the size and location of the lump, as well as the patient history, Dr. Stein may elect to perform several different tests. In some cases, Dr. Stein may put pressure on the lump to see if it changes color. A lump that blanches under pressure may indicate a hemangioma, which is a harmless growth of blood vessels. Dr. Stein may elect to remove any swollen tissue to send it out for laboratory examination. In some cases, X-rays will help determine if there is a salivary gland stone present or a specialized mucocele known as a ranula. Dr. Stein will discuss any tests with you and answer any questions that you may have.

How are mucocelese treated?

A mucocele is usually removed surgically with either a scalpel or laser. The removed tissue will be sent to a laboratory for evaluation. Dr. Stein will meet with you to discuss the details of your procedure and answer any questions you may have before treatment.

How do I get started with treatment for mucoceles?

Dr. Stein and his staff would be happy to discuss mucoceles with you. Please call 212-888-4760, or schedule an appointment online to arrange for a private consultation at our office.

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