Bubble inside Lip: 3 Symptoms, 7 Causes, Diagnosis, 12 Treatments

Bubble inside lip is also known as mucous cyst or mucocele, is a sac filled with fluid on the inner side of the lip. Cysts are usually formed when a fluid or mucous is stored in the salivary glands of the mouth.

The cysts or bump is generally formed on the lower lip. However, they can appear anywhere in the mouth. In most cases, the bubble inside lip goes on its own and is painless in general.

Causes of bubble inside lip:

bubble inside lip
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The saliva on the mouth travels to the mouth through tiny tubes known as salivary glands. Sometimes these ducts get damaged or ruptured because of one or the other reason like biting of the lip, sucking off the lip etc. can also lead to bump on inner lip.

The ducts may also get damaged due to some injury. As a result of duct rupture, the liquid gets deposited between the walls and the salivary gland ducts, and there could be a bubble like swelling on the inside of the lip.

Some of the significant causes for bubble inside lip include:

Rupture or obstruction of salivary glands:

The reasons for the breakdown could be many. Some of the primary reasons include:

  • Injury to lip or mouth due to small accident forming a clear bump inside the mouth
  • Lip biting: Some people have the habit of biting their lip which can lead to rupture of the salivary glands and a bubble in mouth
  • Injury during mastication: Many a time while chewing the food, there is an accidental biting of the lip leading to bubble inside lip or a water blister on lip
  • Eating habits: Eating and drinking habits willingly or accidentally also leads to rupture of salivary glands. This might also form a clear bump inside lip or bump on inner lip. Eating habits include:
  1. Smoking
  2. Eating spicy food
  3. Drinking of a hot beverage like tea or coffee
  • Surgery: A small surgery done to the mouth could have caused rupturing of the salivary gland leading to mucous deposition
  • In rare cases, damage  to the salivary gland is from birth, i.e. congenital which leads to rupture of salivary glands
  • Oral infections: Oral infections in the mouth also leads to rupture of salivary glands
  • Burns etc.
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Aphthous ulcer:

These are also called as canker ulcers and are formed on the inner lining of the lip.

Lipoma:

It is the growth of fatty tissue growth on the inner part of the mouth, they are grouped under tumours, though in most cases they are harmless

Salivary gland tumour:

These are benign tumours that originate in the salivary glands or the buccal cavity, as a side effect/symptom there is  a bubble in mouth.

Hemangiomas:

It is a sort of a tumour which belongs to the benign category, and many abnormal blood vessels collect at a place to form this tumour.

Medications:

Certain drugs also have side effects on the salivary glands leading to bubble formation on the inner lining of the lip

Lip piercing:

Lip piercing is done through needles, sometimes an improper use of the needle for piercing leads to rupture of the salivary glands leading to clear bump in mouth formation.

Symptoms of bubble inside lip:

The symptom and the intensity of the bubble inside lip depends on the location of the cyst, what is the origin of it, is it on the outer lining or deeper inside, it also depends on the reason for the cyst and how frequently the person has these bulges inside the mouth. Some of the symptoms of the cysts include:

Cysts near the surface of lip:
  • Raised swelling
  • Bluish colour
  • Softness, and
  • Lesions on the outside of 1 cm in size
Cysts occurring deeper in the skin have following symptoms:
  • Rounded shape
  • Tenderness
  • Whitish in appearance
Some of the other characteristics of the bubble inside lip like:
  • Moveable and painless
  • Soft, round and dome-shaped
  • 2-10 mm in diameter
  • Sometimes the colour of these are pearly or transparent

Generally, a bubble inside lip does not require medical treatment, and they subside by themselves. However, if they continue to exist for more than a week or reoccur after subsiding, you should visit a doctor, this will help you rule out the more serious causes of it.

Diagnosis of bubble inside lip:

There are numerous reasons for bubble inside lip, it is important to get it diagnosed especially for a reason behind it. This will help to rule out some of the harmful reasons or diseases that might cause this.

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Patient history: Doctor may ask for any medical history, or any intake of medicines by the patient, he may also try to find if the patient has any habit of lip biting.

In certain cases where the doctor is doubtful of any cancerous growth, he may do a biopsy of the cyst: the doctor may take out a small tissue from the cyst and check beneath a microscope to see if the tissue is cancerous.

This diagnosis is usually made when the size of the bubble is larger (more than 2 cm), there are signs of cancer, the doctor does not see any sign of trauma or any history

Treatment of bubble inside lip:

Most of the cases the bubbles formed on the inside do not require any treatment, and they subside by themselves in some time. But there are certain cases when you have to visit a doctor and get it treated. In case there is enlarging of the bubble inside lip, the doctor may use a stepwise procedure:

Removal of the gland:

The doctor or the dentist may use a scalp or laser to remove the salivary gland. The doctor may give local anaesthesia before doing this procedure.

Marsupialization:

This technique is used to form a new duct and help in removal of the saliva associated with that particular gland.

Marsupialization involves the following procedure:

  • The doctor makes the are disinfected using an oral antiseptic
  • The doctor makes an incision or cuts on the mucocele
  • Saliva is allowed to pass through the salivary gland
  • The area is closed by stitching the area
  • Stitches are removed in a week after the wound has healed
Treatment of mucous cysts include:
Laser treatment:

This treatment uses a small beam of light to remove the cysts

Cryotherapy:

This involves removal of the cyst by cold treatment; this involves freezing the infected area.

Intralesional Corticosteroid Injection:

This treatment involves injecting a steroid at the point of the cyst. Steroids help in reducing the inflammation and faster recovery of the wound.

Healing and full recovery of a mucous cyst take around 2 weeks, and it may also take two years to heal. The healing time varies on the type and size of the cyst.

Fordyce spots:

These are the white spots on the inner lining of the lip. The number of spots can vary in number; Usually, Fordyce spots don’t require any treatment. However, if you don’t like the spots, laser surgery can be used for treatment.

Anti-fungal and anti-viral medicines:
Some other treatments:

These are used for the treatment of some kind of disease like thrush and herpes infection.

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In case of cancer or a tumour, an altogether different treatment is used, followed by chemotherapy to prevent recurrence.

After removal of the cyst, it is important to make sure that the cyst does not appear again.

One should consciously make sure that he does not bite his lips or cheeks

One should also avoid spicy and oily food for some time to prevent the recurrence and also ensure faster healing.

Home Remedies for bubble inside lip:

Before trying any home remedy, it is important to diagnose the cause of bubble inside lip/type of cysts especially ruling out the chances of any cancerous cyst on the lip is important.

One can use warm water for the faster healing of the bubble inside lip/cyst; warm water helps in keeping the area disinfected.

It is believed that in situations related to stress and anxiety, a person tends to bites his lips. It is important that the person tries to avoid these situations or have a different reaction to these.

Some of the home remedies that can be used include:

Alum:
  • Alum can be placed over the cyst and kept for few minutes and rinse with water.
  • The process should be done twice a day
Saltwater/distilled water:

Salted water or  rinsing with lukewarm water also helps in the treatment

Hydrogen peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water helps in faster healing of the wounds. Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and has an anti-bacterial and anti-viral property.

Apple cider vinegar:

1 teaspoon of apple cider mixed in 1 cup of water helps in balancing the pH and regulating the saliva in the mouth.

Honey and tea tree oil:

½ teaspoon of honey and 2-3 drops of tea tree oil can be applied to the afflicted area and left for some time. It has anti-bacterial property. Honey also results in reducing the inflammation on the affected part.

Essential oil:

Oregano oil can be applied on the affected area to provide the anti-bacterial effect. The oil can be applied to the affected area. Essential oils serve the same purpose as the alum.

Similarly one can also use baking soda and Listerine on the affected area.

References:
  1. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/home-remedies-to-treat-mucocele/#gref
  2. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/mucocele-causes-symptoms-and-treatment
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/mucous-cyst#home-remedies
  4. https://www.fauquierent.net/mouthmass.htm

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