Mucoceles are lesions commonly seen in the oral cavity; they are probably the most common disease of the minor salivary glands. Mucoceles affect all genders in all age groups, with a peak incidence between 10 and 30 years. Mucoceles are usually asymptomatic; this feature usually leads patients to not seek medical treatment. Mucoceles are cavities filled with mucus and lined with epithelium or covered by granular tissue. Mucoceles are usually caused by the extravasation of mucus followed by trauma to the duct of the salivary gland. The lower lip is the most common site for mucoceles; approximately 60% to 80% are in the lower lip. Other places they occur in the oral cavity are the cheek and the ventral surface of the tongue. From the clinical standpoint, mucoceles present as soft, smooth, painless swellings ranging from deep blue to the normal color of the oral mucosa. Mucoceles can interfere with speech, mastication, and swallowing. The treatment for mucoceles is surgical excision. Cryosurgery and laser have been also reported as alternatives for the treatment of mucoceles. The rate of recurrence is approximately 5%.
Our appreciation is extended to Dr. Juan Yepes, Indiana University School of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Riley Hospital for Children, for contributing this case.
Neville BW, Damm DD, Allen CM, Bouquot JE. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier; 2009.