A mucocele, also referred to as a mucous cyst, is a small bump that develops when the salivary glands in the mouth become plugged. To understand how the cyst forms, it is important to consider how saliva forms in the mouth. Typically, saliva is produced in the salivary glands from where it is channeled to the ducts and into the mouth.

salt in a bowl These ducts sometimes get blocked, usually when you accidentally bite your lower cheek. Trauma to the face or lips sometimes results in mucoceles too, as do tongue and cheek piercings. Poor oral hygiene is also a risk factor for mucocele development.

When the duct gets blocked, mucus is drained out, accumulates and is encased in a bubble-like structure which is what creates the cyst. The cysts are one of the most common types of mouth sores, but are rarely fatal. Mucoceles develop on the lower lip, in the gums as well as under the tongue. Some of the characteristics of mucoceles include the formation of a movable cyst which is usually dome-shaped, and is a few millimeters wide.

The cysts will usually have a bluish or semi-clear coloration. Mucoceles will often disappear on their own without the need for medical intervention. To speed up the healing process, one may use any of the many home remedies recommended for the natural treatment of mucoceles. If, however, the cysts enlarge, seek professional medical advice for proper diagnosis.


1. Keep a Journal if you are a Regular Lip/Cheek Biter:

Time Required:N/A
What You Need: A journal and pen. Sugarless gum (optional)
Difficulty: Easy

 

As mentioned above, one of the main causes of a mucocele is biting of the lower lip as well as mild trauma. To counter this, one of the best and simplest remedies to use is to keep a journal that records every time you bite your lower lip/ tongue. This record not only includes the number of bites, it should also integrate details of the circumstances surrounding the bites to get a more comprehensive outlook. In addition to keeping a journal, there are some simple ways to make a conscious decision not to keep biting oneself.

Directions:

  1. Simply note down every time you bite your tongue or lip. Record the specific time and the present situation at the time; for instance, were you stressed, fatigued, anxious or just plain bored? These circumstances are known as triggers, and are important to note down because it is then easier to anticipate and prevent the biting, effectively reducing the chances of developing a mucocele.
  2. It also helps to counter the triggers by taking simple measures such as chewing on sugarless gum for a distraction and to keep your mind occupied. It works because it satiates the urge to bite without necessarily biting one’s lips.

 


2. Salt:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Mucoceles are easy to treat using salt. Salt has numerous healing properties, among them the ability to drain the accumulated mucus which gives the cyst its rubbery feel. Salt also has the advantage of minimizing the pain and inflammation in the area surrounding the mucocele. The advantage of using salt is that it acts locally on the specific cyst without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Since this remedy uses warm salty water as mouthwash, it is an excellent option for managing oral health. Poor oral health is one of the causes of mucoceles.

Directions:

  1. Place the salt in a cup of warm water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Use the salty water as mouthwash to rinse the mouth, making sure you swish the salty water in the area around the mucocele.
  3. Use the remedy thrice daily for quick healing.

 


3. Glycerin:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Vegetable glycerin, cotton wool and cold water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Vegetable glycerin is recommended for the natural treatment of mucoceles, thanks to its excellent antiseptic healing properties. In addition to this, glycerin also helps moisten the tissue surrounding the mucocele so that it is easier to heal and reduce the discomfort. All you need to do is dab the glycerin on the cyst and allow its effects to seep in. You will need cold water to rinse the mouth and cool the inflammation in the cyst.

Directions:

  1. Soak the cotton wool in the glycerin and use the wet wool to dab on the cyst.
  2. Let the wet wool remain in place for as long as you need to.
  3. Discard the used cotton wool and proceed to rinse the mouth using cold water.
  4. Repeat this remedy thrice daily until you completely get rid of the mucocele.

 


4. Ice Cubes:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of ice cubes and a clean towel.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Ice cubes are a quintessential element in the management of mucoceles because the low temperatures help numb the tissue around the cyst. This deals with the inflammation and discomfort effectively, thus speeding up the process of recovery. what you need to remember is that the use of the ice cubes must not be made directly on the cyst to prevent frostbites. In this case, you may use the ice cubes for direct application or add the ice cubes to a glass of drinking water for the same effect.

Directions:

  1. Simply place the ice cubes on the towel and wrap well.
  2. Rub the ice pack on the mucocele to soothe the skin.
  3. Do this for a minute or so to get relief from the discomfort.
  4. Use the remedy at least three times daily.
  5. Alternatively, add the ice cubes to a glass of drinking water and drink the cold water.
  6. Remember to swish the cold water around the cyst region for added relief.

 


5. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy

 

One of nature’s most reliable home remedies, aloe vera is often referred to as the miracle plant, thanks to its diverse health and medicinal benefits. When used to treat mucoceles, aloe vera is recommended because it is a potent anti-inflammatory. The cool gel from the plant also soothes the inflamed tissue surrounding the cyst, and this helps ease the pain so that the damaged tissue recovers quickly. Warm water is need to rinse the mouth.

Directions:

  1. Cut open the aloe vera leaf to expose the succulent tissue and collect the fresh gel.
  2. Apply the gel directly on the affected skin and leave it on for about 20 minutes for its healing properties to take effect.
  3. Rinse the mouth with warm water and use the remedy at least thrice daily for a couple of days to help heal the cyst.

 


6. Honey:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A blob of raw organic honey, preferably Manuka honey.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Honey is an ancient home remedy for the natural treatment of mucoceles. Its antimicrobial properties not only keep infections at bay, honey’s soothing properties relieve you of the pain and discomfort associated with the cysts. Honey also boosts the immune system, which works well for larger cysts. The best form of honey to use is Manuka honey if you’d love to make a quick recovery, but any raw organic honey will work just fine.

NB: Manuka Honey is sourced from New Zealand.

Directions:

  1. Scoop some of the honey and apply it directly to the mucocele.
  2. Spread the honey so that it completely covers the cyst.
  3. Let the honey remain on the affected area for sometime. If you can, the best time to use this remedy is at bedtime so that the honey works overnight for best results.

 


7. Myrrh:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Myrrh tincture and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Myrrh is a herb that is native to the East African region, and one whose tincture has proven appropriate for the natural treatment of mucoceles. This herb works because it has excellent antispetic properties that help reduce the risk of infection while offering much needed relief from the discomfort of the cysts. When using the tincture, it is important to ensure that it is diluted to avoid irritation of the tissue surrounding the cyst.

Directions:

  1. Dilute the tincture using warm water to prepare your own mouthwash.
  2. Rinse your mouth using the diluted tincture at least thrice daily.

NOTE: Avoid swallowing the mixture, particularly for those with diabetes and diseases affecting the kidney.

 


8. Evening Primrose Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Evening primrose oil capsules and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Evening primrose oil has been shown to be a therapeutic remedy for the treatment of mucoceles. Its gentle action soothes the cysts and speeds up the recovery process. Use for a couple of days until the mucocele is completely eliminated.

Directions:

  1. Break the capsules open and collect the oil content.
  2. Using sterile cotton wool, soak up some of the oil and apply it directly on the cyst.
  3. Use this remedy until the mucocele clears and there is no discomfort.

 


9. Wet Teabag:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teabag, 1 cup of water and a set of ice cubes/refrigerator.
Difficulty: Easy

 

A wet teabag is one of the simplest yet most effective home remedies for the natural treatment of a mucocele. Tea is rich in an active compound known as tannic acid whose astringent properties cause the tissue to heal quickly, effectively getting rid of the cyst. When refrigerated or chilled using ice cubes, the cool teabags help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected tissue.

Directions:

  1. Place the teabag in a cup of water and allow to steep for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the wet teabag and either refrigerate it or chill it on an ice cube tray for 15 minutes.
  3. Take the wet teabag and place it directly on the mucocele, massaging as gently as you can.
  4. Use this remedy thrice daily until the mucocele completely disappears.

 


Other appropriate home remedies for the natural treatment of mucoceles include castor oil, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties and sage for its astringent properties. If the cyst does not heal after a short period of using the home remedies, or the cysts are larger than 10mm, it is important to see a dentist immediately to prevent the risk of further infections.