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Mouth Diseases

Lump in Tounge

09/13/2011

Question:

What can cause a lump in my tongue? It is inside the tongue not on it.

Answer:

There are a number of possible causes for a "lump in the tongue". Most lumps and bumps are the result of trauma to the tongue. The consistency of the lump (how it feels, is it hard, is it rubbery, or is it fluctuant? (squishy)) can give some indication of what might be going on.

Duration, or how long it has been there, also can be used to identify the etiology. I would suggest that you have your primary care provider or dentist examine the lump to rule out other, more serious, causes for this swelling.

In most cases the lump is actually the result of trauma. Depending on the degree of trauma, you may develop a small fibroma. Acute trauma can cause a hematoma (collection of blood within the tissue).

Another possibility is that you could have a blocked salivary gland that is causing swelling on the underside to the tongue (ventral surface).
 
Without actually examining the tongue I can only presume what might be occurring. Therefore, I would have it evaluated by a professional to determine what is actually going on. In some cases, the only way to identify a definitive cause and/or type of lesion is by a biopsy of the lump and evaluation of the tissue histologically.

I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University