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Mouth Diseases

Benign squamous papilloma (lesions on tongue)



I`m hoping you can suggest treatment(s) for benign squamous papilloma (tongue lesions)determined from a byopsy. These are breakages in the tongue, often with whitish perimeter around them (but not always). The lesions are sensitive to vinegar but otherwise relatively painless. Most of the on-line literature describes small grape-shaped structures but that is not this case. Also these lesions migrate around the tongue to several locations as they occur.

I read Dr. John R. Kalmer`s response to a similar question on this topic at: /question.cfm/45120.htm. So far I`m seeing very little that makes sense. Laser, freezing & chemical treatments don`t seem to apply to a migrating, sub-surface condition? Can you shed some light on this or suggest a doctor or resource for more on this problem.


What you are describing does not sound consistent with squamous papilloma. They typically are solitary (single) lesions and do not migrate. They are surface epithelial proliferations that are thought to occur due to a local infection by certain strains of human papillomavirus. There is no sub-surface component, other than the blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the epithelial cells.

What you describe in your mouth sounds very much like geographic tongue (erythema migrans). Please follow the links below for additional information about this condition.

Hope this helps.

Related Resources:

Geographic Tongue (ADAM)
Geographic Tongue (American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology)

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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