BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuOral mucous cystMucocele; Mucous retention cyst; RanulaAn oral mucous cyst is a painless, thin sac on the inner surface of the mouth. It contains clear fluid.CystA cyst is a closed pocket or pouch of tissue. It can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Mucous cysts most often appear near salivary gland openings (ducts). Common sites and causes of cysts include:Inner surface of the upper or lower lip, inside the cheeks, bottom surface of the tongue. These are called mucoceles. They are often caused by lip biting, lip sucking, or other trauma. Floor of the mouth. These are called ranula. They are caused by blockage of the salivary glands under the tongue. Symptoms Symptoms of mucoceles include:Usually painless, but can be bothersome because you're aware of the bumps in your mouth. Often appears clear, bluish or pink, soft, smooth, round and dome-shaped. Vary in size up to 1 cm in diameter. May break open on their own, but may recur.Symptoms of ranula include:Usually painless swelling on the floor of the mouth below the tongue. Often appears bluish and dome-shaped. If the cyst is large, chewing, swallowing, talking may be affected. If the cyst grows into the neck muscle, breathing can stop. This is a medical emergency. Exams and Tests Your health care provider can usually diagnose a mucocele or ranula simply by looking at it. Other tests that may be done include:Biopsy BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Ultrasound CT scan, usually for ranula that has grown into the neck Treatment A mucous cyst often can be left alone. It usually will rupture on its own. If the cyst returns, it may need to be removed.To remove a mucocele, the provider may perform any of the following:Freezing the cyst (cryotherapy) Laser treatment Surgery to cut out the cystA ranula is usually removed using laser or surgery. The best outcome is removing both the cyst and the gland that caused the cyst.To prevent infection and damage to the tissue, DO NOT try to open the sac yourself. Treatment should only be done by your provider. Oral surgeons and some dentists can remove the sac. Possible Complications Complications may include:Return of the cyst Injury of nearby tissues during removal of a cyst When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if you:Notice a cyst or mass in your mouth Have difficulty swallowing or talkingThese may be a sign of more serious problem, such as mouth cancer. Prevention Avoiding intentionally sucking the cheeks or biting the lips may help prevent some mucoceles.Open ReferencesReferencesPatterson JW. Cysts, sinuses, and pits. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 17.Scheinfeld N. Mucoceles. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson IH, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 157.Woo BM. Sublingual gland excision and ductal surgery. In: Kademani D, Tiwana PS, eds. Atlas of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 86.AllVideoImagesTogMouth sores - illustration Mouth ulcers are caused by many disorders. These include canker sores, leukoplakia, gingivostomatitis, oral cancer, oral lichen planus, oral thrush, and similar disorders.Mouth soresillustrationMouth sores - illustration Mouth ulcers are caused by many disorders. These include canker sores, leukoplakia, gingivostomatitis, oral cancer, oral lichen planus, oral thrush, and similar disorders.Mouth soresillustrationRelated Information Cyst(Symptoms)Vesicles(Symptoms) Review Date: 8/13/2020 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.