What Is the Treatment for an Oral Cyst?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
Mucoceles can be drained if they are causing pain or other trouble.
Mucoceles can be drained if they are causing pain or other trouble.

The proper treatment of an oral cyst will depend on the type of cyst and its cause. Most times cysts require no treatment, as they do no harm and may even clear up entirely on their own. At other times, the cyst will need to be removed and possibly biopsied to ensure that it's not cancerous or pre-cancerous. This is especially true of cysts found in the back of the mouth or throat.

A biopsy involves removing cells from the oral cyst and viewing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.
A biopsy involves removing cells from the oral cyst and viewing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.

Cysts are benign masses which grow beneath the skin. They may be hard or filled with fluid and they can occur anywhere on the body. An oral cyst is one that occurs inside the mouth or throat. Most types of oral cysts are not harmful and they are typically small in size. These small masses are usually just monitored to ensure that they do not grow larger. Sometimes they will disappear after several months or years.

Those who use tobacco products are at risk of developing oral cysts that may be cancerous.
Those who use tobacco products are at risk of developing oral cysts that may be cancerous.

If a cyst in the mouth continues to grow larger, it may have to be surgically removed. This may become necessary if the size of a cyst begins to hinder chewing or swallowing ability, or if it becomes painful. Extremely large cysts may impact a person's ability to breathe or they may distort the look of the face. A cyst of this size is relatively rare, and will typically be cut out by a surgeon with as much of the cyst being removed as possible.

Mouth sores may be more common for those with certain health conditions.
Mouth sores may be more common for those with certain health conditions.

In some cases an oral cyst may appear to be mouth or throat cancer. Both of these conditions usually occur farther back in the mouth or in the throat, and they are most common in people who use tobacco products. Lumps which fit the description of cancer are usually removed and biopsied. A biopsy involves removing cells from the mass and viewing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous. Those who are determined to have oral cancer will be given additional treatments.

An oral cyst that's too large may require surgery to remove.
An oral cyst that's too large may require surgery to remove.

Most oral cysts are not caused by cancer, and oral cancers are extremely rare in nonsmokers. Even so, those who notice a mass of any size should consult with a physician to rule out serious health conditions. If the cyst becomes painful, red, or appears to be filled with pus, this signals a infection. Most mouth infections occur when the gums become inflamed or torn, or when the mouth is injured in some way. Additionally,mouth sores are more common in those with certain health conditions so those who notice frequent or painful cysts should be checked for underlying causes.

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Discussion Comments

anon345152

I am very scared of cysts because I have one and I am a 9 year old girl.

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    • Mucoceles can be drained if they are causing pain or other trouble.
      Mucoceles can be drained if they are causing pain or other trouble.
    • A biopsy involves removing cells from the oral cyst and viewing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.
      A biopsy involves removing cells from the oral cyst and viewing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.
    • Those who use tobacco products are at risk of developing oral cysts that may be cancerous.
      Those who use tobacco products are at risk of developing oral cysts that may be cancerous.
    • Mouth sores may be more common for those with certain health conditions.
      Mouth sores may be more common for those with certain health conditions.
    • An oral cyst that's too large may require surgery to remove.
      An oral cyst that's too large may require surgery to remove.
    • People who drink alcohol frequently may be more susceptible to developing oral cysts.
      People who drink alcohol frequently may be more susceptible to developing oral cysts.