7 Reasons for Tiny Bumps on Lips

You can have tiny bumps on your lips for several reasons. Most bumps are not serious and require no treatment. However, bumps that cause pain or persist may require professional evaluation and treatment. 

If you have bumps on your lips, mouth sores, or other oral health concerns, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination.

7 Reasons for Tiny Bumps on Your Lips

There are many types of lip lesions, including:

  1. Fordyce spots. These white or yellow bumps are raised oil glands that can form on the lips or inside the cheeks. Eighty percent of adults have Fordyce spots, which are not painful or contagious. 

  2. Cold sores. Also called fever blisters, cold sores are common viral infections. A cold sore appears as a fluid-filled blister that can be contagious. 

  3. Mucoceles. A mucocele is a cyst that forms most often on the lower lip. It is filled with mucus and usually occurs after trauma, such as biting or sucking on your lip. They are typically painless and have a bluish or clear appearance.

  4. Milia. These small, white bumps can appear on the face or lips. They result from dead skin cells getting trapped on the surface of the lip. The cause is unknown, although they appear most often in an area of prior trauma.

  5. Oral thrush. Also called candidiasis, oral thrush is an overgrowth of Candida, a normal oral fungus. It can appear as small bumps that have a cottage cheese appearance. Accompanying symptoms can include redness, bleeding, and loss of taste. Severe cases can occur in people with a compromised or weak immune system.

  6. Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions to certain foods, toothpaste, lipstick, or other cosmetics can cause inflamed bumps on the lips. 

  7. Lip cancer. Cancer is more common on the lower but can occur on either lip. Lip cancer typically looks like a mouth sore that will not heal. Its color and appearance can vary depending on the darkness of your skin. Although lip cancer resembles a cold sore, cold sores usually resolve in about ten days.

Diagnosing Bumps on Lips

Diagnosis of bumps on lips begins with a complete medical and dental history. You will also be evaluated for risk factors such as the use of tobacco products, current medications, amount of sun exposure, use of cosmetics, and diet. Further questions include when you noticed the bumps, how much pain you are in, and other symptoms such as bleeding, itching, or oozing. After a physical examination, more tests may be recommended, such as a blood test, biopsy, x-rays, CT scan, or MRI. Many bumps can be diagnosed with a physical exam and health history.

Treatment for Bumps on Lips

Treatment for bumps on the lips is based on the cause. Prescription medications such as antiviral, antifungals, corticosteroids, and antihistamines can effectively treat bumps found on the lips. However, lip cancer may require more extensive treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

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