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Mouth Diseases

Hard red bump on the roof of my mouth

03/13/2006

Question:

I have a hard red bump on the roof of my mouth that comes and goes. This has been going on for about 3 months now and I`m wondering what it could be, what could be causing it and if I should get it checked out.

Answer:

What you are describing probably represents what is known as a mucocele or mucus duct cyst. This happens when one of the small salivary glands in the roof of the mouth either is blocked or is cut. Mucus builds up under the lining of the mouth until it reaches a breaking point, then the bump disappears, only to re-form again. An oral surgeon usually has to remove the little gland in order to completely stop the process, but this is a rather minor procedure. The tissue should then be examined by an oral pathologist in order to make sure that the bump doesn't represent a rare salivary gland tumor of this area (although that would be highly unlikely, based on your description).

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University