Mucocele: Definition, Etiology, Types, C/F, Diagnosis, D/D, Treatment

September 11, 2011 | By | Reply More

Mucocele : Definition, Etiology, Types, C/F, Diagnosis, D/D, Rx


Mucoceles, or mucous cysts, are a common phenomenon or lesion of the oral mucosa, originating from minor salivary glands and their ducts.


  • Local minor trauma and
  • duct rupture or
  • ductal obstruction


Two main types of mucocele are recognized, according to their pathogenesis: extravasation mucocele (common), which results from duct rupture due to trauma and spillage of mucin into the surrounding soft tissues; and mucous retention cyst (uncommon), which usually results from ductal dilation due to ductal obstruction.

Clinical features:

  • Clinically, mucocele presents as a painless, dome-shaped, solitary, bluish or translucent, fluctuant swelling.
  • Ranges in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.
  • A common finding is that the cyst partially empties and then re-forms due to the accumulation of new fluid.
  • The lower lip is the most common site of involvement, usually laterally, at the level of the bicuspids.
  • Less common sites are the buccal mucosa, tongue, floor of the mouth, and soft palate.
  • Extravasation mucoceles display a peak incidence during the second and third decades, while the mucous retention types are more common in older age groups.




Preceding the formation of a mucocele, saliva leaking from a damaged duct into the superficial surrounding tissues excites an inflammatory reaction. The pools of saliva gradually coalesce to form a rounded collection of fluid, surrounded by compressed connective tissue without an epithelial lining.

Less frequently, the duct may become obstructed but less severely damaged so that saliva does not escape into the surrounding tissues. A retention cyst thus forms with a lining of compressed duct epithelium.


Differential diagnosis:

  • Lymphangioma,
  • hemangioma,
  • lipoma,
  • mucoepidermoid carcinoma,
  • Sjögren syndrome,
  • lymphoepithelial cyst.

Treatment :

  • Surgical excision under L.A
  • Injection of steroid
  • cryosurgery

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Category: Dental, Medical, Oral Pathology, Surgery

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