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Mouth Diseases

Small circle on my tongue

05/23/2008

Question:

My son has a small circle on the top of his tongue. It`s smaller than a dime and it isn`t raised or dented and it doesn`t hurt. It`s not white or discolored and basically is the color of his tongue but still noticeable. It`s just there and he is very concerned. He is currently being tested for Crohn`s and is taking medication for a fistula. I`m not sure if this could be a reaction to the medicine or a result of the Crohn`s but he is scared. I`m making an appt. at the doctor for him but would still like to know if I should be concerned.

Answer:

It would be difficult to say what this represents without seeing your son's tongue clinically, but the dorsal surface (top) of the tongue would be an unusual place for anything serious to develop. You don't mention your son's age, but most patients with Crohn's disease are diagnosed in their teens. What is it about this "circle" that concerns him or you? Oral lesions of Crohn's disease can occur, but are uncommon. Typically the oral lesions present as linear ulcerations of the mandibular buccal vestibule (the "ditch" formed by the cheek and gums in the lower jaw). Ideally your son should be seen by an oral pathologist.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University