A 6-year-old female patient was seen for a routine Well Child exam by her pediatrician. The doctor noted a “swelling” on her lower lip, and the mother reported that it had been present for 4 weeks. The physician recommended a teledentistry evaluation with a dentist and referred her.
The “swelling” in question appeared as a raised, 4mm x 3mm soft tissue lesion with a broad base and normal color. It is located in the midline of the lower lip inside of the wet-dry line. The lesion did not change in size since it first appeared, and was not painful.
The diagnosis is a mucocele. A mucocele is a harmless fluid-filled retention “cyst” that most commonly results from the rupture of a minor salivary gland. Hundreds of salivary glands are located under the surface of the lip and other areas of the oral mucosa to maintain moisture. If a mucocele does not disappear after 4-6 weeks, it should be removed by a dentist or an oral surgeon, as it can interfere with normal function and often lead to the development of chronic biting or sucking habits and scar tissue, especially in children.
This is an excellent example of how an oral lesion or area of concern could be pre-screened by a healthcare provider, photographed using the TelScope Oral Telehealth System, and transmitted to a dentist for a teledentistry consult prior to scheduling an appointment.
Dr. Richard Simpson, DMD
Dr. Richard is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice.
His achievements include:
• Diplomate in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
• Fellow in the American College of Dentists
• Fellow in the International College of Dentists
• Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
• Advisory Board Member of The TeleDentists
• Advisory Board Member of Holland Healthcare
Dr. Richard’s experience and active interests include telehealth, child advocacy, health disparities, policy, and advancing improved medical-dental access to care. Dr. Richard is also a veteran with 15 years of military service.