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Dentistry/Hard lump inside tongue

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Hi
My wife is scared out of her mind. She discove a very hard lump inside her tongue in the middle toward the left side about a half to an inch from the tip of her tongue. The only info we can find online talks about cancer. It's is not really moveable and you can feel it by pinching her tongue, one finger on rip one underneith. You can't see it and there is no visual lump or ulcer. Is there anything in this area of the tongue that she could be feeling like the medial sulcus? What possibilities could this be besides cancer. She use to smoke socially a few years ago but she doesn't anymore. She is 29 and doesn't drink much. What possibilities are out there? She has been having chronic ear infections so she has a appointment Friday with an ent. Could any of this be related?

Answer
Kim =  Of course, without examining her it is very difficult to differentiate what the lump might be.  In the middle of the tongue, there are many glands that produce saliva and mucous.  These glands can become blocked and that can form a lump.  There are also many muscles throughout the tongue and these too can go into spasm, like any other muscle, and that can produce a spasm like lump.  Of course, there is always the possibility of a growth.  Speak to the ENT doctor about this when she is examined on Friday.  That doctor should be able differentiate the cause of the problem.  Often these lumps are nothing to worry about, but definitely have the ENT doctor examine it.  I wish I could be more exact, but without examining her it is a little difficult.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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