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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Lump/cyst, roof of mouth, towards back throat

09/06/2007

Question:

Hi, I`ve had a small white lump appear in the pallet of my mouth towards the back of my throat for about 6 months. I`m aware when it comes up and can feel it when I swallow, but other than that it does not hurt. It comes up for about 3-4 days then disappears for a couple of days and then recurs, but I`ve pretty much got it every week. I did try to pick it off and it bled and then just came back. I have a picture of it if it helps? My GP said they`ve never seen anything like it before and thought it was some kind of cyst but to ask my dentist next time I visited. I`m worried as I`m a 34 year old female and have had this for the last 6 months and it doesn`t seem to be going - I`m worried it may be something more sinister! Advice welcome, thank you.

Answer:

From your description, this could be what is known as a superficial mucocele. This results when one of the minor salivary gland ducts (tube that carries mucus from the salivary gland to the surface of the mouth) is disrupted and the mucus spills out under the lining of the mouth. Typically this produces a small blister-like bump that breaks after a few days. After the lining of the mouth heals, the mucus accumulates again and the process repeats itself. You may want to see an oral surgeon, who can perform a minor excision of the area and send the tissue to an oral pathologist to confirm the diagnosis.

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Response by:

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