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April 1970

Mucoceles of the Oral Mucous Membrane

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Oral Pathology, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1970;91(4):360-365. doi:10.1001/archotol.1970.00770040518011

Mucoceles involving the oral mucous glands are common lesions occurring in approximately 5.6% of oral biopsies. Of the 594 cases comprising this study 88% were diagnosed at the initial clinical examination. Characteristically they consist of a soft fluctuant bluish or translucent swelling varying in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They are most commonly found on the lower lip, but may also occur on the buccal mucosa, floor of mouth, palate, upper lip, and tongue. Mucoceles are found in all age groups but are most frequent in children and young adults. Traumatic injury to a duct or ducts with injury or severance of the duct is the usual etiologic factor. Mucus subsequently escapes into the adjacent tissue and forms a cyst-like space surrounded by granulation tissue rather than epithelium. Cystic spaces lined with epithelium are seen in very few instances.

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