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Small red spots on side of tongue

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Small red spots on side of tongue

On both sides of my tongue I have some red spots that concern me. They are basically on the lateral border of the tongue where the foliate papillae are located - at the back part of the tongue ,near the bottom side, that goes down the throat. I noticed them for the first time a week or so ago when I had bit my tongue and got a flashlight to see if I was bleeding. As I used the light to look all over the tongue I noticed these. They are NOT raised, don't look velvety red, don't look like ulcers, legions or anything bad and don't hurt or bleed if I touch them. They are slightly more pink than the tongue but not a bright red. They are a little larger on the left side thus more noticeable than the right but you can see them on both sides with a light. The largest one is maybe 1/16s of an inch - all the others are smaller - basically about the size of a pen point. They may have been here for years since this is the first time I ever looked that far back. I had my wife look at them and she says they look "normal" as far as spots and confirmed them on both sides at the same location. She wasn't concerned but I am a worrier so.....

Of course I have searched the internet and all you see if "oral cancer" which of course scares the crap out of me. BTW, I have never smoked and haven't had any alcohol in nearly 25 years and even then I was a one to two drink a week drinker. I also do NOT chew (never have) and have never had any family member with oral cancer (or any kind of cancer as far as that goes) so I don't have any risk factors. When I look at pictures of tongue cancer none of them look anything like my small spots. They are spots and not bumps, sores or anything like that.

I have an appointment with my dentist in about 5-6 weeks for a crown but wonder if I should try to get in quicker to see these spots.

The rational part of me says they aren't cancer since they don't have any of the characteristics of oral cancer other than it is a red spot.




Last edited by oldcars; 02-26-2011 at 08:36 PM.

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Small red spots on side of tongue


Went ahead and went to dentist. She looked at it and said she thought that it was just an irritated taste bud and would probably go away on it's own. I told her that it had already been there two weeks but she said that we would just keep an eye on it and if it changes (gets larger, becomes sore, etc) she would send me to a surgeon. She said she did not think it was anything to worry about because it has a very clean and distinctive border and if it were a cancer that it would have an irregular border. I asked what we would do if it didn't go away but didn't change and she said nothing. If it doesn't grow then there is no need for concern

I started using some peroxide and eating more on the other side for the past 2 days and it appears the place is starting to shrink some. My wife say it is definitely smaller than it was when I went to the dentist Tuesday so that makes me feel better that it isn't anything bad because instead of enlarging it is getting smaller.

So, while it isn't gone, knowing the dentist feels good about watching it makes me feel okay. I asked her that if it were on her tongue what would she do and she said she wouldn't be too worried and would just check it periodically.

Last edited by oldcars; 03-03-2011 at 07:00 PM.

Old 03-05-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Small red spots on side of tongue

Sounds like PERFECT advice. Good for you for having it looked at. Better safe than sorry.

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