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Mouth Diseases

Recurring Mucoceles



My 11 year old daughter had 2 mucoceles removed from the inside of her lower lip by laser surgery a little over a month ago. The Doctor did not remove all of one of them and when we went back in for the f/u appointment he had to remove the rest of it because it had swelled up again. She now has another bump in the exact same spot where that mucocele was removed. Is this common? I don`t think she is biting her lip. When she had the surgery, samples of both mucoceles was sent to a lab for a biopsy and they were both diagnosed as mucoceles. I am going to take her to another oral surgeon.


Unfortunately, mucocele recurrence is not uncommon. To reduce the risk of recurrence, it is recommended that when they are removed surgically, the affected minor (accessory) salivary gland be removed together with the spilled or extravasated mucin (spit). But even when this is done, it is possible that a neighboring gland can be damaged during the excision, even by something as minor as putting in the stitches (sutures) to close the surgical wound.

If you seek help from another oral surgeon, be sure to inform her/him of this problem so that all efforts can be made to keep the chances for another recurrence to a minimum. Good luck!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University