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Wat to do with mucus cyst or a lump on your lip ?


Mucus cyst or a lump on your lip

Mucus cyst or a lump on your lip

When you suffer from a lump on your lip, it is possible that there is a mucus cyst. What exactly is a cyst of mucus and what causes it?

What is a cyst of mucus?


A cyst is a cavity filled with mucus. The medical name for a cyst of mucus is a mucocele. In most cases, mucous cysts are located on the inside of the lower lip. A cyst on the upper lip is very rare. In some cases it is seen in the cheek or in the bottom of the mouth. When the cyst is in the bottom of the mouth, in one of the output ducts of the lower salivary gland, it is called a ranula. In popular speech it is called a frog tumor, because of its resemblance to the frog bladder.

Symptoms of a mucous cyst


A mucus cyst on the lip can be recognized by a spherical hump. They often develop in a short period of time. Think of a period of 2 to 6 weeks. They can vary in size from a few millimeters to 1 ½ cm. The hump is filled with saliva and can appear somewhat bluish.

A ranula, a mucus cyst in the mouth, is also filled with saliva, but this can vary in size from 1 to 3 cm. Again, the cyst can be recognized by the bluish transparent swelling.

In most cases a mucous cyst does not hurt, but it can cause an irritating feeling. It is a benign condition.

Causes of a mucous cys


There are many small salivary glands in the mouth and lips. These make the saliva in the mouth and keep the oral cavity moist. The outlet of one of these salivary glands can become blocked. As a result, the saliva can no longer drain and accumulates directly under the mucous membrane. The cause of this clogging can be an inflammation or trauma. In a trauma you can think of an injury to the lip, biting on the lip or sheets that are pulled loose. Also a mucous plug or saliva stone can be the cause of the occlusion. However, in some cases the blockage occurs just like that.

How is the diagnosis made?


There are many small salivary glands in the mouth and lips. These make the saliva in the mouth and keep the oral cavity moist. The outlet of one of these salivary glands can become blocked. As a result, the saliva can no longer drain and accumulates directly under the mucous membrane. The cause of this clogging can be an inflammation or trauma. In a trauma you can think of an injury to the lip, biting on the lip or sheets that are pulled loose. Also a mucous plug or saliva stone can be the cause of the occlusion. However, in some cases the blockage occurs just like that.

Treatment of a mucus cyst


Treatment is not always necessary. In some cases the cyst will go away on its own. The hump can also become empty after it has been bitten. This releases a thick, slimy fluid. When the fluid is gone, the swelling disappears spontaneously. Unfortunately, in these cases the mucous cyst returns after some time. Puncturing the swelling is therefore useless.

If the cyst does not disappear by itself, it will have to be removed surgically. Under local anaesthesia a small incision is made in the lip. Through that small incision the cyst is removed together with nearby salivary glands. Then the wound is sutured with a soluble suture. Within a week the soluble sutures disappear by themselves.

Subsequently, the oral surgeon will send the removed tissue to the laboratory to have the diagnosis confirmed. The chance of a mucus cyst reappearing in the lip is about 10%.

It is not so easy to remove a ranula from the bottom of the mouth. This is removed under anaesthesia by the oral surgeon or ENT doctor. However, the chance of a ranula reappearing is high about 60%. In some cases, this is done to remove the tongue salivary gland. 



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