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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Dark spot on tongue

07/21/2009

Question:

My dentist noticed that I have a small dark blue spot on the side with a slight bump. She told me to watch it. DO you know what it can be?

Thank you.

Answer:

Although you didn't mention your age, the presence of a small dark blue bump on the side of the tongue would most likely represent a varix ("varicose vein"), especially if it's rather soft. The dentist should examine this at your regular 6-month check-up appointments, and if a significant increase in size or firmness is noted, then a biopsy should be done to make certain this isn't a rare salivary gland tumor called mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

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Response by:

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