A physician explains where the white slimy gunk on the inside of lips comes from…

Have you experienced a white, slimy, goopy substance on the inside of your lips? 

“The slimy substance in the mouth is the oral mucosa that is peeling,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.

“Oral mucosa is like skin cells, will slough off as newer mucosal or skin cells develop.

“This can be exacerbated by certain mouthwashes and toothpastes, especially if the toothpaste or mouthwash is in the mouth for an excessive period of time. This is similar to exfoliating the skin.”

If you’ve noticed a slimy white substance on the inside of your lips, switch oral care products and see what happens.

Dr. Silvers says that this problem can also be caused by side effects of certain medications.

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 



Top image: Shutterstock/massimofusaro

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