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Mouth Diseases

White bump on corner of mouth

10/13/2008

Question:

I have one bump near the corner of my mouth on my lower lip. It reminds me of a pimple, but it`s been there for a few months. It is not noticeable until I smile and it turns white. It doesn`t hurt and it`s not growing, but it`s not going away.. What could this be?

Answer:

Without being able to directly visualize what is occurring, I can only theorize what you might be describing. If you are concerned, I would have it evaluated by your dentist.

Now in all likelihood, you are describing a "fordyce granule" or a ectopic mucosal sebaceous gland. These 1-3 mm white or yellowish-white papules are commonly found on the buccal mucosa (cheeks) and vermillion border of the lips. The number of glands visualized varies, as some people can present with just a few, whereas others have hundreds of them. Sometimes they can coalesce and form a cauliflower-like cluster that is referred to as sebaceous hyperplasia.

Do not try to pop them, as they will only get infected if you try to remove them; basically they are a variant of normal. But, if you are concerned, I would highly recommend having your dentist evaluate this white lesion to rule out other possibilities.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University