What is this little bump in my mouth?
October 10, 2008 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Every now and then I get a tiny, non-painful bump in the back of my mouth, which feels a bit like a blister or pimple. What is it?

I have never seen it, only felt it with my tongue/finger. It's similar in size, shape, and texture to those little orange roe eggs in sushi, and when it appears I can easily pop it by pressing on it with my finger, which is oddly satisfying. I haven't noticed it producing any fluid when it pops, though I'd guess it does. It's not uncomfortable, itchy, or painful in any way.

The bump is on my gums, back where my wisdom teeth would be if I hadn't had them removed, on the tongue side. I am not sure if it always appears in the same place, or if it moves around. The last couple of times I've noticed it, it's been in the same place.

Iā€™m not sure how long I've been getting it for ā€“ it's just one of those things that appears and I don't think too much about it. I don't think I've ever had more than one at a time. I'm not sure how often it shows up; it's not particularly frequent but it's often enough for me to have noticed.

I'm not in the least worried about it. Should I be?

I kind of like it ā€“ it's like having my own private bubble wrap. But I'm really curious what it is.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I get these too. I don't think they're anything to worry about, as they don't hurt and don't leave any visible marks. Hopefully someone will come along and give the scientific name and cause and we can all become a little smarter.
posted by amicamentis at 9:21 AM on October 10, 2008

I get this too from time to time -- maybe once every month or three weeks. I haven't noticed anything awful about it although I can't remember if I've asked a doctor or dentist about it. And yeah, you're right -- it is satisfying to pop!
posted by the dief at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2008

This has bothered me for years, I hope someone who has medical knowledge can answer, I'm always worried it indicates a more significant problem.
posted by Ponderance at 9:30 AM on October 10, 2008

I get these as well. Hasn't really bothered me much. Usually on my back gums where my wisdom teeth used to be.

As for what they are... *shrugs*
posted by Tachoh at 9:31 AM on October 10, 2008

Mine appear only when I eat ridiculously sweet foods. Home made fudge seems to be a killer.

Anyone else have food (or other) triggers?
posted by Phineas Rhyne at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2008

I get these in response to certain foods, although right now I can't remember which ones. I also have one that recurrs frequently in a spot where I bit my inside lip a lot because of slightly snaggly teeth. They are a lot of fun to pop.

I was thinking of asking my dentist about them, next time I go in.
posted by MsElaineous at 10:14 AM on October 10, 2008

No doctor, but... They're minor salivary glands that have gotten clogged somehow. Certain foods make your mouth secrete more saliva, which makes them more likely to occur. I suspect everybody gets them occasionally and they're absolutely nothing to worry about, just pop 'em.
posted by borkingchikapa at 10:19 AM on October 10, 2008

So, there are salivary glands on the gums as well? Even the outside part?
posted by amicamentis at 10:35 AM on October 10, 2008

My dentist told me they're clogged salivary glands, no big deal.
posted by gleuschk at 10:54 AM on October 10, 2008

Could also be a blood blister. Will feel the same as to what everyone is describing, but if you look in the mirror, will be dark.

I've had both kinds in my mouth since I was a small child (and lived to tell about it).
posted by cjorgensen at 10:59 AM on October 10, 2008

Oral mucocele. I get them once in a great while and and had one surgically removed. Dr called it a mucocele.
posted by jdfan at 12:29 PM on October 10, 2008

Jdfan, I'm not sure if that's it - they seem to be concentrated in the lower lip (on the inside) and are pretty huge. The OP mentioned that his or hers was the size of a roe egg.
posted by amicamentis at 1:30 PM on October 10, 2008

I get these all the time, at least every other day. I've never really worried about it, I just pop them and go about my business. They usually occur in the same spot. There are no specific foods that trigger it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:20 PM on October 10, 2008

Yea, those pictures (and other examples on the web) are kind of misleading. The mucoceles I get are pretty small... I'd guess between 1-4mm in size. I know this is thoroughly frowned upon and unapproved, but I lance them with a clean xacto knife.
posted by jdfan at 6:28 AM on October 11, 2008

And yes, salivary glands are located throughout the mouth.
posted by jdfan at 6:32 AM on October 11, 2008

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