Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Mouth Diseases

Something`s Wrong With My Lips.



Please help me. I`m really scared. I`m a female, 56, and I had unprotected oral sex. About a month or so after this, I noticed little white bumps all over inside my lips. The don`t hurt, except sometimes it feels like they have little pinpoint sores in them and they feel very weird when I touch them with my tongue. I went to 2 medical doctors and one dermatologist and they said they were normal, but I`ve never had anything like this before and I`m worried about std`s. Please help me. Thank you.


The best thing you did was seek medical attention and have the lesions evaluated. Most persons just write in and expect us to diagnose a problem without actually examining the patient and taking a detailed history, thus only resulting in a presumptive diagnosis at best.

Did the physicians perform routine cultures for common STDs? I would expect they did if that was included as part of the "chief complaint".

Since the 3 MDs ruled out STD lesions, I would suspect what you are describing is one of a couple oral mucosal entities. The "bumps" could be minor salivary glands, small submucosal glands that secrete a high mucin content of saliva, and assist in lubrication of the oral cavity. 

The bumps could also be "Fordyce granules" or small sebaceous glands that also occur in the oral cavity. The Fordyce granules are generally not as prominent or raised, as minor glands and can appear yellowish in color. Minor salivary glands also secrete fluid and can become inflamed and swollen and appear as "pimples". There are approximately 2500 to 3500 minor glands within the oral cavity and easily detected on the labial mucosa as you have noticed.

Another possibility is HSV infection, but that is usually located on the attached gingiva or on the vermilion border of the lips and peri-oral aspects of the face.

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

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