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Mouth Diseases

Oral Lesions

08/10/2009

Question:

I noticed three weeks back while eat at dinner I felt what seemes like sores on both sides of my cheeks. they do not hurt and do not have any fluid coming out of them. they are red with a tiny hole in the middle almost looks like a black dot on both sides.

Answer:

I believe you have discovered the place in your cheeks where saliva (spit) from the big glands in front of your ears (called the parotid glands) empties into your mouth. Each little bump is called a parotid papilla and represents the end of a a thin tube of tissue that transfers the parotid saliva (similar in function to a garden hose) called Stensen's duct. Since the inside of your cheeks are wet, it is difficult to see the spit coming out of the ducts without a very bright light (like at the dentist's) and only after first drying the papilla with a sterile cloth or cotton swab. 

To be sure, you can have your dentist confirm my suspicion at your next check-up. Hope this helps reduce any worry you may have had about these "lesions". 

For more information:

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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