The ranula is a mucous retention cyst secondary to obstruction of a minor salivary gland or the sublingual gland. They represent a unilocular cyst in the sublingual space. One often sees the tail. They are considered simple if they are confined to the sublingual space. If the capsule breaks and there is extension from the sublingual space into the adjacent submandibular or parapharyngeal space, they are considered a diving or plunging ranula.

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