What is this lump on my lip?
A mucocele is a lump in your mouth most commonly on the inside of your lower lip. It can occur other places in your mouth although not as common.
It happens when a salivary gland duct is cut like when you bite your lip, for example. They can only occur where you have salivary glands and are most common in kids and younger adults. It starts as a little swollen bump and can turn into a lump which is hard and pebble like and can move around under your lip when touched. Some are a bluish colour. Mucoceles are not harmful or painful but are definitely annoying. They can get in the way of your speech and eating. You can see in the image above that mine was large and definitely bothersome.
It is not recommended to puncture mucoceles but if you do, it may look smaller but will not go away. A yellowish fluid will come out if punctured. I tried this before I knew what it was and it did nothing but cause me a bit of pain.
Some mucoceles can go away on their own but most likely it will have to be removed by scalpel or laser. If you have one and it doesn’t seem to be going away you should have it checked by your dentist around the two week mark. It is possible that if left untreated it will scar over. Having it removed will possibly cause another one to occur but that’s a risk most are willing to take. Some people have to undergo multiple removal processes and some people choose to just live with them. Most procedures are minimally invasive and can be done with a local anesthetic. Do not try to remove this yourself.
I had mine removed by scalpel, they froze my lip but when the freezing wore off later on, the pain was quite intense.
The cost of removal can range from about a dollar to a few hundred, depends on the doctor and any insurance you have. (I live in Canada and fortunately didn't have to pay)
Once the mucocele is removed it will be sent for evaluation to confirm that it was indeed a mucocele or possibly something else. The recovery may take a week or two, having to be gentle and eat softer foods for the first few days but may also be quick and rather easy, depending on the size and location of your mucocele. Some scarring, numbness and disfigurement of the lip are possible risks when having it removed although in most cases after the healing process everything returns back to normal.
I have a numb spot on my lip where my mucocele was removed but otherwise the removal was completely successful and I'm glad to be rid of the marble like lump on my lip.
Some people swear by home remedies to cure a mucocele. Some examples are; lemon, Listerine, and evening primrose oil. From what I’ve read the evening primrose oil seems to be the best option. Also, a cream of triamcinolone acetonide given to you by your doctor is another option which apparently works. For prevention they say, ‘Try not to bite your lip”. Yeah ok.
Here’s a YouTube video of a mucocele removal.