Mucocele (Mucus-Containing Cyst)

Mucocele is a cyst containing mucus (or saliva) (Fig.1 *).  It happens quite often and can be found in people at any age.  It makes appearance for no reason or after trauma (biting your lip).  It is not painful.  Accidentally we bite on it.  The water (mucus) comes out; the cyst disappears.  A few days later it comes back.  It comes and goes for several times.  Finally we are tired of it and have to see a dentist for cure.

A 5.5-year-old girl fell six months ago.  Three of bottom front teeth became loose with bleeding.  Gradually these teeth are alright, but a small lump develops in the lower lip.  Her mom uses a string to pinch the lump off.  It comes back.  She tries again.  It comes back again.  Finally a medical doctor recommends seeing a dentist.

Diagnosis of mucocele is made.  It has to be removed (Fig.2 *) as well as underneath mucus-producing sacs (arrowheads: >).  In the end, stitches are placed (Fig.3).  The little girl is in fact doing great during the procedure under local anesthesia.  She does not cry at all.  The mucocele (Fig. 4 *) and associated sacs (<) are shown again after removal.  One month and a half after surgery, the little patient returns for cleaning.  The wound heals without scar (Fig.5).  There is also no scar in her mind.  She is as sweet as before.

We are going to talk about why the surgery needs to be so big next.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 04/10/2012, last revision 05/29/2012