chapter  4
Benign and Nonneoplastic Diseases of the Oral Cavity and Oropharynx
ByRobert A. Robinson, Steven D. Vincent
Pages 42

Fordyce granules are developmental anomalies of the oral mucosa. They are thought to arise from ectoderm inclusions formed during the fusion of the mandibular and maxillary processes. Fordyce granules, also known as Fordyce spots, are extremely common. There is an increasing frequency of Fordyce granules with age up to the second and third decades, with males exhibiting the process earlier and more frequently than females in childhood. While unusual in infants, Fordyce granules is found to be present in approximately 60% of children 10 years and younger, and close to 90% of adults are reported to show these lesions (1-3). Although proposed by Fordyce originally to be the result of the degeneration of the prickle cells of the oral epithelium, these lesions are ectopic sebaceous glands. The most common sites include the buccal mucosa and vermilion borders of the lips. Other extra head and neck mucosal sites include the esophagus, uterine cervix, and thyroglossal duct (4). They are not found in the conjunctiva, but have been reported in patients that have undergone oral mucous membrane grafts to correct inflammatory processes (5,6).