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Mouth Diseases

Black Lump In Tongue

11/20/2009

Question:

A few months ago my tongue was sore and when I looked there was a hard black lump inside my tongue on the left side about half way up the tongue. An hour later the lump was gone. Since then though the lump reappears more frequently and stays longer. I can always tell when the lump is there without looking or touching my tongue because I start by feeling awful, like having a toothache. When the lump was present my tongue felt like I burnt it drinking something hot but that condition stays now. When lump is present my taste buds don`t like the taste of anything, nothing sounds good to eat and when I do eat it upsets my stomach. I just had a dental appointment with a clean bill of health approx. 1 month before the lump started. I cannot find any information out there about a black lump inside the tongue. When I had a family doctor look at and touch my lump he said it was not cancer because it would not disappear if it was and there was nothing under the tongue. Since I have such awful tasting breath now I thought maybe it was hygiene, even though I brush twice a day. So I rinse with mouthwash and have even tried warm salt water. They don`t seem to work either. I am a 43 year old female with no mouth injuries, no sex for 2 years so no STD`s, and a perfect dental checkup this past summer. Thank you for your insight.

Answer:

Your description is complex and describes many things that could be related but are probably only coincidental.

I agree with the assesment by your doctor that the black lump is probably not serious, but I cannot explain the rapid appearance/disappearance if the lump feels hard or firm. Since that is your major concern, I would suggest you try to have it examined (especially when it is most notable to you) by a dental specialist such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or pathologist. Even though the lump is likely innocuous, you would probably experience some peace of mind in knowing what it likely represents and what treatment, if any, you might need. 


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