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Mouth Diseases

Lump Under Left Side of Tongue



Out of the blue, I felt a lump under my tongue. It felt soft like a piece of bread was stuck under my tongue. When I went to go look at it, it looked like a cold sore. I believe it is the submandibular or whartons duct on the left side that is swollen. The "duct" looks open as it turns into a little clear looking bubble. maybe filled with pus?(Like a Canker sore) How do I get rid of it? I have had it less than 5 hours.


The description you give mostly sounds like you may have developed a mucocele or a small area of spilled saliva or mucus (AKA spit) just beneath the skin under the tongue. In this precise location, it is more likely that the affected gland is the sublingual which sits immediately adjacent to the submandibular duct.


In addition, the term ranula is often used for mucus spilled in this location for reasons only interesting to pathologists and other health care practitioners. Since there is some uncertainty here, I would suggest you see your dentist or a dental specialist like an oral surgeon for a close examination of this lump to confirm my suspicion. If you have developed a ranula, you will probably need professional help to "get rid of it" since they rarely heal completely on their own. This would entail a minor surgery that usually is performed by an oral surgeon. Please see the link below for more information and good luck!

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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