How are mucoceles and ranulas prevented?

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

Avoidance of local trauma to the minor salivary glands may help to prevent the development of oral mucoceles. Although unanticipated injury to the mouth is difficult to predict, habits that irritate the minor salivary glands such as sucking or chewing on the lips or tongue may be contributing factors. Constant rubbing of the oral mucosa against sharp or fractured teeth or orthodontics appliances is a potential cause. The discontinuation of contributing habits, restoration of damaged teeth, judicious use of orthodontic wax with oral appliances, and wearing mouthguards in sports should be encouraged to prevent oral irritations that could lead to the rupture and spillage of mucin into the surrounding mucosa.

Superficial mucoceles can be prevented by treating the mucosal disease causing these lesions to develop, including chronic mucocutaneous diseases and contact allergies. When xerostomia is a contributing factor, recommend maintaining a moist oral environment through hydration and, if necessary, oral moisturizers or lubricants.


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