An oral mucous cyst, also called a mucocele, is a harmless swollen spot. It's a good idea to get it checked out, though, especially if it's bothersome, otherwise than that it's mostly harmless and isn’t a deadly condition. You may have had it at some point in your life.

Symptoms of Mucocele

There are two types of Mucoceles; the ones that show up on the inside of your lower lips, your gums, the roof of your mouth and the ones under the tongue. Those on the floor of the mouth are called ranulas. These are rare, but because they’re larger, they can cause more problems with speech, chewing, and swallowing.

Mucoceles commonly have these telltale traits:

  • They are Moveable and painless
  • They are soft, round and dome-shaped
  • They are Pearly or semi-clear surface or bluish in colour
  • They are commonly 2-10 millimetres in diameter

Causes of Mucoceles

What causes a mucocele? Well it is concerned with a small salivary gland, which makes saliva in your mouth

Here's what happens for you to get a mucocele:

Your saliva naturally moves from a salivary gland through tiny ducts into your mouth. One of these ducts can become damaged or blocked. This most often happens if you repeatedly bite or suck on your lower lip or cheek.

Being hit in the face could also disrupt the duct such as being punched or hitting your face on something.

When this duct becomes damaged, Mucus seeps out, pools, becomes walled off and causes a cyst-like swelling. A similar buildup happens when the duct becomes blocked.

Other common causes include:

  • A tear in a salivary gland: A bump or injury could cause swelling or inflammation to the salivary gland and lead to mucus buildup.
  • Piercings: Cysts can form because of an infection, especially with a lip piercing. You should have any piercings done by a professional to assure clean, sterile instruments and avoid infections.
  • Damage caused by your teeth: Not taking care of your teeth can lead to a buildup of bacteria. The bacteria can block salivary glands and lead to cysts.

Hospital Mucocele Treatment

Most Mucoceles often go away without treatment. However, sometimes in unusual cases, they enlarge. See your doctor or your dentist for expert advice is it does this.

These are the two types of treatment that doctors or dentists commonly use:

Removing the gland: In this scenario, the dentist or doctor may use a scalpel or laser to remove the salivary gland. The application of Local anaesthesia helps numbs the pain.

Helping a new duct to form: This is Called marsupialization, this technique helps a new duct form and helps saliva leave the salivary gland.

In this scenario, the dentist, or doctor:

  • Disinfects the area
  • Puts a stitch through the mucocele and ties a knot
  • Gently presses out saliva
  • Removes the stitch after about a week

Other types of treatment that may bring down swelling or prevent the need for surgery include steroid shots and medications applied to the surface of the mucocele.

Mucocele cysts are more unpleasant than harmful, but you still should see a specialist to take care of them. They can return after removal, and there may be a pain in areas where they’re removed.

Be aware when cysts may pop up, and try to avoid the temptation to suck on your cheek or bite your lip when they do appear. If you notice a cyst or a mass in your mouth or have trouble swallowing or talking, call your doctor to set up the right course of treatment.

Natural Treatment of Mucoceles

Saline Rinse

You can use a saline rinse as a mouthwash for a small mucous cyst.

Doing this regularly can help draw the fluid out of the cyst. It can also help prevent any further infection to the affected area.

You Will Need

1 cup of warm water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a cup of warm water.
  2. Add half a teaspoon of salt to it and swish it in your mouth for about 15 seconds.
  3. Spit it out. 

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this two times daily.


Honey is an antibacterial agent that can help prevent the affected site from further infection. It has wound-healing properties that can help speed up the healing process. 

You Will Need

Some Honey

What You Have To Do

Take a few drops of honey and apply them to the affected area. 

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this two times daily. 

Chewing Sugarless Gum

Chewing sugarless gum can help prevent you from biting your lip. It keeps your mouth occupied and ensures that you don’t meddle with the cyst.

A mucous cyst is commonly seen as a mucocele on the lower lip. However, it can also develop as a mucocele on the roof of the mouth. No matter where it develops, you can use any of the remedies mentioned above to provide relief from the condition and handle it normally.

Please note that should it enlarge and become worrisome, you should seek hospital treatment.

Tips and General things you should Know about Mucoceles

  • Mostly, Mucoceles resolve on their own. The best thing is to leave the mucocele cyst alone. If it doesn’t heal on its own in a few days, even after trying the home remedies, then you must consult a doctor.
  • If you have the habit of biting your lip, refrain from it as much as possible.
  • If you have an existing mucocele, make sure that it is not infected by using antibacterial mouthwashes or homemade saline rinses.
  • Eat carefully so that you do not bite off the affected area and aggravate the salivary mucocele further.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to avoid infections.

Mucoceles are mostly painless, but they can get in the way of regular eating and drinking. Hence, it is better to seek medical help to treat them if they should aggravate.


Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues.We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news on Fitness, Dental care, Recipes, Child health, obstetrics, and more.

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