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Mucocele

Updated on October 24, 2009

Mucocele

Mucocele
Mucocele

What is this lump on my lip?

 

Mucocele (MYOO-koh-seal)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The cost of removal can range from about a dollar to a few hundred, depends on the doctor and any insurance you have.

 

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.

 

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNIxz58lDUw&feature=related

 

 

 

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      Abbie 3 years ago

      Hay I'm only 13 and I have had this mucocoele for some time now I'm going to the hospital soon to see what they can do I have watched the removal video and I have read all of your page it has helped me a lot . I really don't like needles or anything like that so I don't know why do to I have had it for nearly a year and I can not decide if I should leave it or get it remover

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 3 years ago from Canada

      Jamie, yes the surgeon removed the ducts around mine so that it wouldn't re-occur. I do still bite my lip there in my sleep and wake myself up doing it but thankfully it has never happened again. The surgeon did a good job. I'd be upset if it kept re-occurring, that's terrible.

      Yo, you cannot push it out if this is what it is, it has to be surgically removed.

      Misty, that sounds like a doctor needs to diagnose you.

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      misty 3 years ago

      hello I had a clear bump in my lower lip before I knew you could not pop it by self with out knowing it did not swell but it has a over lap of skin still unconfortable also feel like a tendent or some thing dry moves on my left lower lip my lip changed color to a bit of a blue and am really worried what do I do know... I cant help but ask ty

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      Yo 4 years ago

      About 3 years ago a bump formed on my lip

      that had a blackish color around it turned red and hurt, then it turned into a painless bump. A couple of months later it swelled and turned red and hurt again and a went back to what it was previously when I went to sleep. I never went to the dentist because I was afraid of what it was. Now I want recently and the dentist says it's a blocked salivalry gland. I tried doing what he said by pushing it out, but there's nothing to push out. If I press a finger to it, it's white. And there is like a tiny nerve in the middle top of it (Well when I bite down there that's where it hurts.) Help.

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      Jamie 4 years ago

      Hey Kalux, when the oral surgeon did your surgery did he/she remove all the ducts around your cyst? I have a recurring mucocele that was excised (and the dermatologist thought he got the duct as well) but two days after the excision I started forming another mucocele right beneath the stitches! So my derm referred me to an oral surgeon, and I'm just afraid this will just keep popping back up. :(

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      nz 4 years ago

      which kind of doctor do i have to show it initially

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, xstatic. It is odd how often we bit our lips! I am often waking myself up by biting my lip and causing great pain to myself. I am lucky the surgeon did such a good job on me otherwise I'd be having many more of these darn things.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      So that's what those are... I get little things like that occasionally, but they do go away after a bit. It is odd how often we bite our lips though.

      Up!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Sorry, Zubair, I'm not entirely sure what you mean.

      DDE, you are wonderful! You have been reading ALL of my hubs, thank you!

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      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow!! This is a serious matter and said all in detail thanks

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      zubair ahmed 5 years ago

      i did surgery as well it is now almost 2year

      but the surgery area is hard i fell little pain in near area of the surgery i guess it is bcoz the surgery area is hard. i wld like to known is that area gets hard for years or what i am bit worry on thanks

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Good luck, FB.

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      FB 5 years ago

      I used a combination of evening primrose oil and Listerine.After one application, the bump got half of what it was in size. Mine was not very big from the beginning so I am not sure if that's why the treatment was fast and effective. Also, it was initially very dense and hard but it got softer the next day day. It had a blueish color when I first got it, now it has some white skin on it. Although very small at the moment, it is still there so I guess I'll just keep on applying EPO and Listerine.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Erica

      Was he an oral surgeon? I hope he knew how to do it properly. Your lip should go back to normal but give it some more time (at least a couple more days) and it's ok if it's purple right now, that should go away too. Good Luck.

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      Erica 5 years ago

      I noticed a bump almost every morning but then it would go away. Until on day it didn't go away. I had my cyst for 3 weeks and it got in the way of my chewing to where I would accidentally bite it. It would swell up even more. I went to the dentist 2 days ago and he cut it off. He put anesthesia injections in my lip. The right side of my lip is still swallen and it hurts to smile and laugh. I started to ice it. The dentist also said to put warm salt water where he cut about 3 times a day. I've been doing that as well. In 3 days I'm getting te stitches removed but I'm worried the swelling won't go away. The inside of my lip is a bit purple. I'm do worry a lot so I hope it's not infected. Will my lip go back to normal?? Soon??

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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Nancy, sorry to hear that! That would be terribly frustrating!

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      I went to the ENT doctor because my cyst keeps coming back even after the oral surgereon supposedly removed all of it and then sent me a bill for $721 that my insurance decides to not cover, but anyway the ENT said it could take up to a year before this fully heals and cysts stop producing in that spot. He said if they keep coming back then they will operate again but no guarntee that they won't keep coming back. I had mine done in Jan. 2012 and I still have tingling in my lip and some days I still get the stiffness and swelling coming and going along with the cyst forming. I feel like I am always going to have these. Very upsetting!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Treno, I don't know if listerine works. Sometimes they go away by themselves so maybe you'll be a lucky one. Two weeks isn't that long. Whatever you do, don't poke at it.

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      Treno 5 years ago

      and what primrose oil should i use ?

    • profile image

      Treno 5 years ago

      I think i had mines for more than two weeks and my mom wont make an appointment, so will Listerine work, and when it does, how long will it go away for ?

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Roxy, As long as you keep it clean you'll be fine. The only foods I'd really avoid are very chewy things that will require lot's of lip movement because of the discomfort but otherwise you can eat the way you normally do.

      Mine was also huge, so nice to have it gone!

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      roxy 5 years ago

      Thanks:) mine was huge in my lower lip. How will you suggest to take good care of it while is healing. What foods should I eat?

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Roxy, you'll have to give it some time. The swelling should mostly go down within a day or two but it won't look normal for at least a week. It's a little different for us all, I suppose it depends on the size and location.

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      roxy 5 years ago

      I had mine removed today and I could still see the lump, how long will it take for everything to go back to normal?hopefully this lump doesn't come back.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Claire, No pain or anything? I don't imagine that's a good thing but before you panic call your doctor. I had intense pain the same day, I believe the local only lasts a couple of hours. Good Luck! Let us know how you make out.

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      Claire 5 years ago

      Hi I had mind removed yesterday and can't feel my bottom lip at all is this normal I'm worried as surely the local should of worn off by now ??

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi George

      I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the white balls you're seeing. Unless you mean what our lips look like normally when stretched, maybe you're just paying closer attention to that now because of the removal? What I mean is, we may look closer and notice things we wouldn't normally because of the mucocele...? But if you can feel them with your tongue I may be wrong about that. I still have a tightness where mine was removed but it's so minor now that it just reminds me of how thankful I am to have that awful thing gone! :)

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Connor

      The numbing needle wasn't bad at all, it's really quick. After that you don't feel anything at all when they are cutting it out, you also don't see them do it. At least I didn't, my surgeon covered my eyes with a blinder which I was thankful for. The stitches aren't pleasant, I know. I think I had mine for a week or two, I can't remember exactly now.

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      George 5 years ago

      Hi Kalux,

      I had mine Mucocele removed around 2 weeks ago. The swelling has gone down and I can finally smile properly. I still have that tight feeling and numbness on my lower lip. One thing I have noticed is a few little "white" balls pop up next to the original cyst that I removed...is this normal? (you can only see them white when you stretch the lip otherwise they look invisible but I can feel it with my tongue).... looking for your thoughts..

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      Connor 5 years ago

      Hi I am 16 and have had mine for a bout a year, it is small but I am afraid of needles and deff don't want stiches. How Long we're your stiches in and how painfull was the numbing needle and what did it feel like when they were cutting it out

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Alisha

      It took about a month for mine to heal to where I felt comfortable about the way it looked. I felt a tightness too where the scar tissue is but it's softened up a bit and now I hardly notice it. I think you'll be okay, it hasn't been that long yet.

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      Tomoe 5 years ago

      Hi Kalux,

      Thank you for this hub, Bon courage from France!

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      Alisha123 5 years ago

      Hi Kalux!

      I also damaged my duct by biting my lip in my sleep accidently. I had my cyst removed on my lower lip on Mar.13/2012 and it's now Apr. 7 and my lip is still swollen no where as big as it was at the beginning but still slightly swollen. If I take a pic u can see the swelling on one side even more in a picture. I can't smile fully like I use to but Dr said its the scar tissue and could take up to 6 mths to soften. I'm really worried about the swelling though & it's almost 4 weeks now. I feel like this is how my lip will always be. Did u experience this /how long was it that your swelling took to go down completely?

      Thank you!!! Alisha

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Andrea, it's covered. It didn't cost me anything.

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      Andrea 5 years ago

      We are Canadian but I've been told that is not cover by health insurance and we have to pay. Is this true?

    • profile image

      Stephen 5 years ago

      Michelle- i went to an ENT specialist. Still hoping it doesn't come back, my insurance ran out... a nice 26 b-day gift!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      It would be an oral surgeon doing the procedure.

      Sorry, Ruben, I don't know what to tell you about where you can go. Do you have a doctor? I'm wondering if maybe a referral would help with your insurance issue?

      Fortunately for me I have never had to worry about that as I am Canadian so I am not knowledgeable about it at all. I couldn't imagine the stress of having to worry about insurance for all these things. I sincerely wish you luck, Ruben!

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      RUBEN 5 years ago

      HI I HAD MINE 4 A YEAR NOW I DONT GOT INSURANCEIS THERE A WAY I CAN GET IT REMOVED EVEN IF I GOTTA PAY CASH? AND WHERE DOI GOTO GET SURGERYPLZ HELP

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      michelle 5 years ago

      What kind of a surgeon does this procedure? ENT?

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      oh my goodness, three times! I seem to remember my surgeon telling me that she removed any ducts right around mine so that it wouldn't come back or have a whole new one form. I have since realized that I continually bite my lip in that exact place in my sleep and often wake myself up doing it and that was the cause of mine, damaging the duct. Luckily, by her removing the ducts I don't have to worry about getting another one.

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      stephen 5 years ago

      I had to get mine cut out three times! Being more cautious with this post operation b/c i'm tired of getting this operation done. These things are extremely stressful, so i feel for all of you. For me, i think alcohol was contributing to it but we will see in about a week or two... always came back two weeks after operation!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Nancy,

      I only have some mild numbness and can feel what I assume is scar tissue but no pain.

      That's terrible that you feel a sharp pain and have it swelling, I'm not a doctor but I can only assume that's definitely not right. After 2 months you should be healed.

      If I were you I'd try to talk to a different surgeon to see if any repair is possible, you should feel relieved not upset. I feel so badly for you. Good Luck!!!

    • profile image

      Nancy 5 years ago

      Kalux,

      If you press on your scar tissue do you have any sharp pain because I do. It feels like something sharp is inside like a needle. Still have no feeling in bottom corner of the lip. Can't eat without it swelling or kiss my husband or even have difficulty talking because i feel this lump inside my lip and so i feel like I talk funny. Since the surgery its been about 2 months. I don't know what to do....I am so upset ....I wanna sue the oral surgeon for ruining my mouth.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Sorry to hear that, Nancy. I was lucky and had a great surgeon who removed whatever she could around mine to avoid any future ones forming near there. I still and probably always will have some numbness but it's a small part of my lip so it doesn't cause me any discomfort.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Jennifer

      How does it look now? The day after it is a bit scary looking isn't it?

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Jess

      When I had mine removed my lip was quite a mess for a while. It was at the very least a couple of weeks before I went back to normal. (Mine was huge though) My swelling was also pretty bad, after the first few days it gradually got better so hopefully you've seen improvement by now.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      It could be. I remember mine hurt but I was also poking at it quite a bit. This was before I knew what it was.

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      I had mine removed 2 wks ago and still have numbness in my lip and got a water blister today in my mouth and have several hard nodules formed in my mouth instead of one that was originally removed. Still have difficulty eating and it swells at times still when I eat certain things. Wish I never got the first one removed. This is worse not better. Thinking I will never get feeling back in my lower lip on the right side.

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      Jennifer 5 years ago

      I had mine removed yesterday , and Its really purple and red around my stitches and still have that bump on my lip an it's very purple is it normal I'm freaking out its not gonna go back to normal :(

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      Jess 5 years ago

      So, I had a mucocele removed Monday, 3 days post-op I still have swelling, tingling, numbness and lack of motion in the left of my bottom lip where it was removed. Is this normal? I called the doc yesterday and they said it should "progressively get better each day" but today feels like it's worse than yesterday. I talk for a living and have been told today that I "sound like I have a dip in" my mouth. NOT what a girl who talks for a living wants to hear. Any thoughts on how long this will last? Or anything that can help decrease swelling other than ice, doc says no ice only warm compress after 48 hours??? I'm not normally paranoid about anything, but considering that I've never had any sort of operation (yes I've been very blessed/fortunate) I'm freaking that my mouth will never be the same :(

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      Alicia 5 years ago

      I am pretty sure I have a mucocele, but mine seems to be a lot bigger and it hurts because I have braces. I hate it! Since it hurts does that mean it could be something else?

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      Maria 5 years ago

      Hello Kalux,

      I was freaking out about the lump in my mouth til I came upon your comments. I think I will try sipping lemon tea before going to the doctor. I've had my mucocele for about 2 weeks now. At first I thought it was a fever blister but it didn't go away. I will get back with you in about a week with the status.

      Thanks!!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Sorry, Jazzy but I think you're going to have to see a doctor. How long have you had it for?

      It's possible that it will go away on it's own but if you've had it for a while it may not.

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      Jazzy 6 years ago

      I'm just finding out I that I have a mucocele. I bit it twice eating. Hurts a little and its swelling. I'm too afraid to go to a doctor now because I so hate pain. Someone please give me some advice. This thing is driving me crazy! Ugh!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      No problem, Chelsey. I was a bit freaked out before I knew what it was.

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      Chelsey 6 years ago

      Thank you for letting me know what this really was.. :)

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      Wow, Mark! That's great. I wish I had tried that before I got mine cut out, could have saved myself all that pain.

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      Mark 6 years ago

      After three months with a muscocele on the bottom lip, I made one dietary change and it went away in a week or so. I started adding two slices of lemon to my hot tea, such that lemon was the predominant flavour, and let each drink of tea sit for a couple seconds in the bottom of my mouth before swallowing. Mine was originally a centimeter high, and it is 99 percent healed now.

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      Sorry for the delayed response, Carlos! That's great that you feel no pain! I had so much pain that I found myself moaning. I do find it odd that you weren't prescribed anything but maybe the location of it has something to do with that. Maybe the doc knew it wouldn't hurt there. Anyway, there aren't any restrictions as far as I know. Just keep it clean. My lip was purple for a while but you could see my stitches and some swelling so it was obvious I had a procedure done.

      Now that it's 6 days later, how are you feeling now?

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      Carlos 6 years ago

      hi there, I got mine removed 2 days ago, however, the doctor did not prescribe anything to me. Is it normal? Fortunately I feel no pain, but that part of my lip is purple outside and my friends asked me what happened to me. I also wanted to know if there are some restrictions about what to eat or to drink. Thanks

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      It took quite some time for it to heal completely, I don't remember exactly if there was a bump or not but it was quite a mess.

      I can definitely tell where the incision was still. I have a mild numbing sensation in that spot too.

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      ewyk 6 years ago

      I just had this procedure done two weeks ago.

      Now there's a tiny hard bump where the incision site was.

      Did you also have this bump a 2 weeks post-op?

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Fixodent Lawsuits 6 years ago

      Hi Kalux,

      We do have the same experience. I can attest to that. Nice hub you have!

    • Kalux profile image
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      Kalux 6 years ago from Canada

      You're very welcome.

      When I got mine I had no idea what it was for a long time.

      I'm not going to lie, it hurt to get it removed. Actually, not the actual removal because they freeze you but afterwards. Also wasn't pretty with the stitches and swelling but having it gone felt and still feels great!

      It's a super quick process though.

      Best of luck :)

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      Jenna dhaliwal 6 years ago

      Thanx for the info.. I'm hoping I get mine removed soon, kinda scared:|.