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Mouth Diseases

Stubborn bump ...

04/08/2009

Question:

About 7 months ago I noticed a small white spot nearly on the tip of my tongue.. it didnt really bother me so I didn`t think to get it checked by a doctor. However, since discovery this "bump", which I think is an enlarged taste bud, has gotten quite big and it now pretty noticeable if I happen to stick out my tongue. Also, it has become very annoying and now almost seems to be, kind of, hanging or sticking up, off of my tongue. I was just wondering if it`s normal to have this for such a prolonged period of time and if I could get it removed by my doctor?

Answer:

As you surmised, this probably started out as a swollen taste bud (or fungiform papilla). It may have been irritated or traumatized by accidental biting or rubbing against the teeth, leading to additional enlargement and the development of scar-like fibrous connective tissue. At this point, it may be better categorized as a fibroma (irritation fibroma, bite fibroma, fibrous hyperplasia). Although completely benign, it could continue to enlarge.

Given your concern, I would recommend you seek out an appointment with an oral surgeon to discuss conservative removal of this stubborn bump. Good luck!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University