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Mouth Diseases

Tongue injury

06/17/2009

Question:

About two years ago I was eating a sandwich with some sharp seeds and grains in the bread, on of which mad a very small cut on the upper front tip of my tongue causing it to bleed. The bleeding soon stopped, but the cut left a very tiny spot which is hardly visible at all. It is not red or white but the same colour as the rest of my tongue. My question is that very occassionaly after eating, it will bleed but stop quickly i.e. a couple of minutes. It then looks slightly red, but soon returns to normal. This doesn`t happen very often, maybe two or three times a year at most, always after eating what I think could me a food substance that is hard or sharp. I would be very grateful for any advice, as I have no obvious dental or throat problems and regular dental check ups are always fine. Thanks.

Answer:

The area you describe may represent an attempt to repair the small cut that was not completetely successful or has left a small blood vessel closer to the surface covering of the tongue than normal. Although it does not sound like much more than an annoyance, it is not a bad idea to have your dentist take a look.

It is possible that a minor surgery to biopsy the area could (1) provide a clear diagnosis and (2) encourage better healing of the tissues so that you don't have to be afraid of hard food anymore. 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