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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

White spot on tongue from birth

11/28/2007

Question:

My child was born with a white spot on the tongue. She is now 4 yrs old. Doctors say they don`t know what it is and that it could be nothing. The only way to know is to remove it. I don`t know if I should have it removed or leave it alone. The spot on her tongue is about the size of a pencil eraser and grows with her, but looks the same as from when she was born. It looks like it might be a little raised.

Answer:

Unfortunately, there are many important details about this spot that are missing. Precise location on the tongue is one. Top of tongue, underside, or on the edge? If on the top of the tongue, is it exactly in the middle or is it more in the front, back or to the side? Also, if you can put your finger on the spot, is it soft or firm or even hard to the touch?

These details can help narrow the possibilities, but probably would not provide one single diagnostic possibility. Fortunately, it sounds as though the condition is benign and probably innocuous since it has changed so little in 4 years. If you remain concerned, see if you can get an appointment with a pediatric dentist or an oral and maxillofacial pathologist to get the opinion of someone with training specific to conditions in the mouth.

Good luck!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University