These are 2 patients have swellings on the inner surface of the lower lip and cheek. The first is a 31 year old male, that has had it for 1 month. The second is a 27 year old female that has had it for 2 weeks. This is called a mucocele. It is caused when you bite or traumatize your lip and rupture or obstruct the small salivary gland duct. The saliva pools up and causes a small swelling. There are many small salivary glands on the inner surface of the lip and damaging the duct can cause the saliva to pool up causing a clear or bluish swelling. My treatment for this condition is to have the patient rinse with warm salt water 6 times a day for 1 week. If it is still present after 1 month have it surgically removed.
This next condition on this 55 year old female patient is called an aphthous ulcer, sometimes referred to as a canker sore. This is usually caused by stress, not eating or sleeping enough and getting run down. I see this a lot in college kids who are stressed during finals and not sleeping enough or eating well. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction. The aphthous ulcer usually resolves on it’s own in 2 weeks and can reoccur. It can sometimes be painful, and if it’s really bothering the patient, I can prescribe a Chlorohexidine mouthwash or steroid cream.
These next patients have mandibular tori, also called torus mandibularis. A torus (plural tori) is a bony growth that occurs in the lower or upper jaw in 20% of the population. Tori are normal bone covered by normal tissue. These are usually caused by genetic factors and teeth grinding causing excess bone to be deposited. No treatment is required.