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Mouth Diseases

Mucocele in the soft palate of my throat

06/20/2007

Question:

I have been diagnosed with a mucocele problem that has been occuring for just about a year. I believe it started with throat inflammation that was not treated correctly and then the small bumps started appearing every week, once a week like "clock work." I have been to an Oral surgeon and several ENTs. The Oral surgeon and one of the ENTs both did biopsies, different ways, and after each time the mucoceles came back, and after that second time they come back more frequently and not just one, i can get two or three now. This is mentally affecting more than physically is there any cure!

Answer:

The only cure for mucocele is surgical removal of the spilled mucin together with the affected gland. Occasionally, the biopsy procedure removes only the mucin spill and the damaged gland may continue to spill more of its secretions, leading to recurrence. In some cases, the surgery itself damages or weakens adjacent small glands, leading to a totally new mucocele right next to where the initial one was removed.

The good news is that, despite your personal experience, mucoceles usually don't continue to recur if both the spill and the gland are removed together. Check with your surgeon(s) for a re-evaluation appointment. Hopefully, treatment can be rendered that breaks the cycle of recurrence and puts your mind at ease.

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University