With mucocele, patients may notice lumps or lesions in the mouth. Mouth lesions can vary widely: some may be soft or rubbery, sore or painless, clear or bluish in colour. Often, swelling in the mouth is caused by trauma or blocked salivary ducts. In some cases, swelling or lesions in the mouth may indicate a more serious condition.

Any swelling or sores in the mouth that last for longer than a week should be examined by Dr McHugh.

Frequently Asked Questions

A mucocele is a small, fluid-filled swelling inside the mouth.

Usually caused by an injured or blocked salivary gland, mucoceles are most commonly found inside the lower lip, on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheek, and on the floor of the mouth. In some cases, a mucocele may have a slight bluish color.

While mucoceles are usually harmless and painless, they can be inconvenient and annoying, sometimes interfering with eating or speaking. If left untreated, mucoceles may develop permanent scar tissue. Shallow mucoceles may burst, while deeper mucoceles may become sore or painful.

Even though mucoceles are generally harmless, any unexplained cyst or swelling in the mouth should be examined by a dentist to rule out more serious conditions.

The salivary glands in the mouth secrete saliva in order to keep the mouth moist, aid in digestion, and help protect the teeth from decay.

Saliva moves into the mouth from the salivary glands through tiny tubes called ducts. When a duct is injured or becomes blocked, a mucocele can form.

Mucoceles are common, occurring in approximately 1 out of every 500 adults. Mucoceles are often caused by trauma or lip biting. In other cases, certain medications may thicken the saliva, resulting in blocked salivary ducts.

Dr McHugh will examine any swelling or lumps in your mouth to determine their cause.

Depending on the size and location of the lump, as well as the patient history, several different tests may be performed. In some cases, pressure may be put on the lump to see if it changes colour. A lump that blanches under pressure may indicate a haemangioma, which is a harmless growth of blood vessels.

​Any swollen tissue may be removed and sent for laboratory examination. In some cases, X-rays will help determine if there is a salivary gland stone present or a specialised mucocele known as a ranula.

Dr McHugh will discuss any tests with you and answer questions that you may have.

A mucocele is usually removed surgically by excision biopsy or with a laser.

The removed tissue will be sent to a laboratory for evaluation.

Dr McHugh will meet with you to discuss the details of your procedure and answer any questions you may have before treatment.

Dr John McHugh plastic surgeon
About Dr McHugh

Dr John McHugh is Australia's only surgeon qualified in both Maxillofacial and Cosmetic surgery.

His dual specialisations enable him to deliver excellence in surgical results, with an eye for aesthetic beauty.

With over 20 years of experience as a surgeon in the private sector and performing international aid work as a Surgeon Commander with the Royal Australian Navy, you can have confidence that Dr McHugh is uniquely qualified and trusted to deliver the results you seek.