Did you find a bump in your mouth? Maybe there is a small lump or protrusion on the inside of your lip or on your tongue. It may even bee on your palate? What is it? We contacted the Dentists we work with to figure out what a cyst in the mouth really means. These are the conclusion after an initial interview with Atlanta Oral Surgery, Southwest Dental, Smile More Dental, South Texas Dental and Lakeside Dental.
“Just because you found a cyst in your mouth does not mean you have oral cancer,” suggest the experts at Atlanta Oral Surgery. We could simply be talking about a common mouth cyst that is a thin fluid-filled sac on the inside of the mouth. This is not, in most cases, dangerous, but does need to be diagnosed by your dentist.
“This type of cyst is also called a mucous cyst or mucocele,” suggest the professionals at Atlanta Oral Surgery. They showed us that according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) it is is a harmless and painless cyst. Understandably, it can be uncomfortable because you feel that bump inside your mouth.
The dentists at South Texas Dental told us that normally, these thin cysts occur inside the mouth and lips, but they can also form on your tongue, palate, inside the cheek, floor of the mouth and around piercings on the tongue or the lips. When it occurs on the floor of your mouth, it is called a ranula, and when on the gums is called an epulis. You may even note that the mucocele sac is bluish and clear with fluid. Do not overly worry, your dental professional can easily diagnose this type of cyst.
What Causes These Cysts?
AOS specialists say that these cysts are often caused when you suck the inside tissue of your gums or inside of your cheek between your teeth. However, some of these cysts can just appear randomly.
A fluid filled cyst usually does not require any type of specialized treatment because it will rupture and heal on its own, say Atlanta Oral Surgery specialists. Just continue your usual oral health care, brushing and flossing and things should be back to normal within a week or two.
However, the specialists at Southwest Dental gave us this recommendation. If you do have a mouth cyst that is uncomfortable or irritated, or one that does not go away in a couple of weeks, see your dentist. Your oral health specialist will use a sterile needle to open the cyst and drain the fluid until it clears.
Southwest Dental Group tells us that there are times when surgical removal is appropriate. At times, a dentist will choose to surgically remove the cyst, especially if it returns after an initial healing. Complications after this type of surgery are very rare. There may be the standard complications such as infection or an allergic reaction to local anesthesia though. Talk to your dentist about possible risks involved in the removal of a cyst.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Help?
The specialists at Southwest Dental told us that getting a professional dental opinion is very important if the cyst does not clear. If the cyst does not clear on its own, and you do not go into see a specialist about it, you may find that the bump makes a permanent formation. Although these bumps are harmless, you need to see your dentist if you get other cysts or see something strange. It is important to have your dentist evaluate the area and get an x-ray of the cyst.
Could It Be Cancerous?
Smile More Dental defined what cancer is for us
Cancer occurs when there is an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. These are cancerous or malignant cells that continue to grow and divide. This cancer often occurs inside the lips, the mouth, in the salivary glands, the tonsils and the back of the throat, the esophagus, the tongue or the soft tissues of the mouth. It tends to occur more in men than women and is more likely to strike after the age of 40.
What to Look for?
Smile More Dental specialists tell us that the mouth handles a lot. Foods can create burns and poor brushing techniques can cause abrasions to the the cheeks and gums. Usually this trauma heals itself in 7 to 14 days. Some sores are painless and these usually disapear over a week or two as well. However, if the sore continues, it needs to be checked-out by your dentist.
A Bump that Will Not Go Away
South Texas Dental experts tell us that If you experience swelling or find that a bump just appeared and it does not come from any apparent trauma, then you need to get it evaluated. Speak to your dentist as soon as possible when you find a bump that doesn’t go away on the bottom, top or side of the mouth, even on the back of your throat. The lesions can sometimes be caused by lesions or teeth restoration work, but only your dentist can tell you this. There are many reasons for a bump to appear in your mouth, and most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. However, your dentist is the only person that can tell you whether the bump is cancerous or not.
The team at South Texas Dental says that it is virtually impossible to perform a real self examination of your mouth. But with a small mirror and good lighting you can inspect the surfaces of your mouth. However, there will still be places you cannot see. Use your index finger to feel for bumps, but still, this method may still lack full disclosure of bumps and cysts.
Lakeside Dental Associates emphasized that your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening. When you go in for your appointment, your dentist will perform a visual inspection using specialized tools. He may also decide to take dental x-rays to identify the risk of mouth cancer. If you think you might have symptoms or if you smoke, chew tobacco, consume alcohol, then you might want to ask for a screening anyway.
Lakeside Dental also suggested that a biopsy may be in order. If the dentist does find abnormal tissue, he may want to take a biopsy. This is a process where he surgically removes a part of the abnormal tissue. He then sends it to a pathologist for evaluation. While at the lab, the lab workers will look for cancerous. If the tests result is positive, your dentist will talk to you about the best course of action.
There IS Good News
The number of cases of mouth cancer caused by tobacco is in decline. So if you are a smoker, now may be a good time to quit.The survival rate following early detection is high, so you do want to have a mouth lesion, bump or cyst looked at if it lasts more than two weeks.
Know the main risk factors of oral cancer.
The risk of contracting oral cancer increases with age
- Smoking or chewing tobacco can also increase your risk.
- Consuming more than three alcoholic drinks a day
- Exposure to ultra-violet light can also increase your chances of getting oral cancer.
- People who have had previous head or neck injuries are also susceptible to oral cancers.
- People who have the human papilloma virus (HPV) also have a higher chance of getting oral cancer through oral sex transmission.
Preventing oral cancer
You can take an active role in preventing oral cancer or at least in detecting it in its early stages. Follow these steps as preventative measures:
- Brush and floss regularly. A mouth full of bad bacteria reduces your immune system and inhibits your natural ability to fight cancers.
- Avoid smoking or tobacco consumption.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Limit exposure to the sun.
- Exercise regularly as an active lifestyle boosts the immune system.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet. These foods have many cancer-fighting properties.
- Add green tea as the antioxidants are an excellent way of preventing cancer.
- Visit your dentist regularly (every six months) and ask for an oral cancer screening process.
Key Take Aways
Southwest Dental, Smile More Dental, South Texas Dental and Lakeside Dental have given us some important information here, but the key elements they stress is REGULAR CHECK-UPS. You need to always use the best oral hygiene practices and visit your dentist regularly so he can screen cysts and other irregularities tomaesure they are not cancerous.