Diagnosis and treatment of oral lesions are challenging for most physicians because numerous diseases can share same oral symptoms and a lot of such symptoms have overlap which makes their distinction very difficult. Most oral cavity lesions are self-limiting and patients usually seek medical care when these lesions become persistent or when they become bothersome. A good number of oral lesions happen due to trauma which could be chronic repeated trauma, sharp trauma or a sudden substantial trauma.
Mucoceles are fluid filled cavities. They are primarily made of cells covering the walls of the cavity which are known as epithelium. Mucus glands line the epithelium of these cavities. Mucoceles are commonly developed following a mild trauma. Any trauma that disrupts the salivary gland duct can potentially lead to the development of a mucocele. Since the lower lip is more commonly bitten than the upper lip, mucoceles are most frequent in the lower lip. They are also more frequently seen in young patients and adolescents. Mucoceles grow into different sizes and often hold a gelatinous fluid inside. They look bluish or pinkish and are commonly seen as small bulges or soft nodules.
In some cases, mucoceles undergo spontaneous rupture. This may lead to complete resolution. Some patients develop symptomatic lesions that might be accompanied by pain. These patients will benefit from excision of the entire cyst or cryotherapy. If patients have access to clinicians who are trained to use laser treatment then CO2 laser vaporization is reported to have good outcomes. The content of the mucocele could be aspirated with needle but it is only reserved when short-term relief is sought as the recurrence rate of this treatment is high.
Biting can also lead to the development of a very common oral lesion. They are called canker sores which are open sores (known as ulcers or aphthous stomatitis). These lesions are painful and are usually white to yellow in the middle and red on the edges. Canker sores are often seen with consumption of certain irritating foods which might be unique to each person, infections and biting of the inside of the cheek or the tongue. Genetic predisposition is suggested for this lesion as it is seen to run within families. They are also often seen with inflammatory bowel diseases. The most common treatment for these lesions is symptomatic relief using oral steroids.
It should be remembered that mucoceles are benign and might undergo spontaneous rupture but they are required to be treated by a doctor as organization of the internal lining epithelium increases the recurrence rate.
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