What is the role of the salivary glands in the etiology of mucocele and ranula?

Updated: Apr 17, 2018
  • Author: Catherine M Flaitz, DDS, MS; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
  • Print
Answer

The most frequently injured glands are the minor salivary glands of the lower lip. The mechanism of injury is mechanical, with the tissue of the lower lip becoming caught between the maxillary anterior teeth and the mandibular anterior teeth during mastication or with the habit of biting one's lip. This trauma results in a crush-type injury and severance of the excretory duct of the minor salivary gland. In the palate, low-grade chronic irritation (eg, from heat and noxious tobacco products) may cause these lesions to develop.

Mucoceles occur when injury to the minor salivary glands occurs usually secondary to trauma; biting one's lip; chronic inflammation with periductal scarring; excretory duct fibrosis; prior surgery; trauma from oral intubation; or rarely, minor salivary gland sialolithiasis. Most mucoceles occur because of severance of the excretory duct and extravasation of mucus into the adjacent tissue.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!