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Mouth Diseases

Brown Spots on Tongue

05/29/2009

Question:

I have several brown spots on my tongue & bottm lip. They look like freckles. I had one on my lip that would come and go for many years. Now they seem to be spreading. What could cause this? They are not painful. I brush my tongue daily. The spots are different sizes and shapes. I am not taking any medication. I have asthma but don`t use the medicine only if I need to. Maybe every three or four months I`ll need to use my inhaler.

Answer:

There are several reasons for dark spots to develop in the mouth, including use of certain medicines or even cigarettes. Most mouth spots are benign and not serious, but there is one rare exception called oral melanoma that is related to the skin cancer of the same name.

Because of this unlikely possibility, I recommend you see your dentist or a dental specialist such as an oral and maxillofacial pathologist or surgeon for a personal consultation.

For more information:

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

Response by:

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