Mouth and Lip Lesions

Lumps in the mouth or on the inner lip are often self-limiting benign cysts containing secretions, called mucous, produced by the lip and are called mucous retention cysts or mucocoeles. If your specialist confirms a benign diagnosis, these cysts can be easily removed under local anaesthesia.


Mouth and lip ulcers are common and affect most people at some time in their life. The vast majority of these ulcers are non-sinister – they are either canker sores (aphthous ulcers) secondary to local irritation or injury, infections, drugs, or associated diseases that affect several body parts (eg inflammatory conditions).

A white patch (leukoplakia) or a red patch (erythroplasia) in the mouth that does not rub off occurs in 3% of the population. Some of these patches represent cancer, which can only be diagnosed following a biopsy. Therefore, it is recommended that all patients with white or red patches in the mouth should undergo assessment by a specialist, who will perform a biopsy.

However, if your mouth or lip ulcer does not heal within 3 weeks, you should have it examined by a specialist who regularly deals with oral disease to confirm or exclude serious disorders such as oral cancer or other serious disease.

In most cases your surgeon will be able to reassure you following examination. Sometimes your surgeon may recommend performing a biopsy under local anaesthesia.

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