Cysts are abnormal growths in the body. Cysts can occur anywhere in the body and are usually named according to the location of the growth. Cysts in the mouth are usually called oral mucoceles. This oral growth has also been considered a polyp.
These are harmless growths that occur in the mouth.
- Oral cysts are characterized as fluid-containing or a cyst-like swelling that occurs commonly on the lip of the mouth lining.
- Commonly at risk for developing oral cysts are children and young adults.
- There are two main types of oral cysts one is the mucocele resulting from a leakage of mucus from salivary glands into soft tissues and the other is a mucus-retention cyst which results from blockage or backup of saliva in the gland.
- Oral cysts commonly occur in the lower lip but it can appear anywhere in the mouth such as the inner part of the cheek.
- Mucoceles can appear as single bump, bluish or normal in color and varies from a size of ½ to an 1 inch big.
- Mucoceles are soft, painless, and appears suddenly.
- Mucos-retention cysts slowly enlarge.
What Causes Cysts in the Mouth
Various causes have been identified in the development of an oral cyst.
- Mucus extravasation phenomenon. Connective tissue swells wherein the swelling is made up of mucin coming from a ruptured salivary gland.
- Mucus retention cyst. Swelling occurs as a result of an obstructed or ruptured Parotid or salivary duct.
- Local trauma or injury often results in extravasation.
- Inflamed sinuses can cause oral cysts.
- History of lip-biting.
- Use of tartar control toothpaste.
Mouth Cysts Treatment
Some oral cysts often go away on its own without treatment. After a period of 3-6 weeks or longer, the cysts will disappear without treatment. It is important that while the cyst is still present, sucking on the affected lips or cheeks should be avoided.
- Surgical removal is a recommended treatment for chronic oral cysts or cysts that do not respond to conservative treatment.
- Surgical removal of the adjacent salivary gland may also be done to avoid recurrence of oral cysts.
- Laser or non-invasive surgery is available for patients who want to experience less recovery time and for patients afraid of going under the knife.
- Conservative treatment may work well for some cysts. This involves rinsing the mouth with a salt water solution up to four to six times in a day. The solution helps draw out the fluid trapped under the mucosa, causing the cyst to subside or disappear without surgical intervention.