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Mucocele is a common pseudocystic lesion of the oral cavity caused by extravasation or retention of saliva in the minor salivary gland. Extravasation mucocele is more common in the lower lip of young individuals due to trauma, whereas retention mucocele is more common in the cheek or palate in older people. They appear as painless, soft cystic swelling in the mucosa of the oral cavity. The overlying mucosa appears as bluish or normal in colour. The diagnosis is usually by clinical appearance. Most of these lesions regress in 4–6 weeks; if not, surgical or laser excision can be considered. Cryotherapy has also been used.

Differential diagnosis:




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Figure 1: Mucocele. Note a non-tender cystic swelling in the lower lip in a 17–year-old male. The mucosa over the swelling shows an erosive area in the centre indicating traumatisation from the upper tooth.
Figure 2: Mucocele. Note the cystic swelling in the lower lip.
Figure 3: A cystic swelling on the left buccal mucosa suggestive of mucocele.
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