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Mouth Diseases

Growing Bump Under Five-Year-Old`s Tongue

12/10/2009

Question:

My five year old daughter has a bump under her tongue which started out being white/clear and now has grown and become red - almost like additional tongue tissue - it is about the size of peanut and she can move it with her teeth. Any idea what this may be?

Answer:

Although you do not mention how long this bump has been present, if it just appeared in the past few days, it is probably what is known as a mucocele. These are common in this area and are harmless. They are caused by mucus collecting underneath the lining of the mouth after one of the minor salivary gland ducts has been injured.

Sometimes they go away on their own, but usually they have to be removed by an oral surgeon. Often they will reach a certain size, then break open and deflate (a painless process), only to re-inflate with mucus again. Therefore, the only way to get rid of them for good is to remove the mucus deposit and the gland surgically. This is a common, minor procedure, and the tissue that is removed should be sent to an oral pathologist for microscopic confirmation of the diagnosis.

Related Resources:

Mucocele

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University