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"What is a small white growth on the left side of my tongue?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is a small white growth on the left side of my tongue?


There's a small white growth on the left side of my tongue. Is it dangerous? I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I did not engage in any sexual activity. Could you please suggest what condition am I suffering from? I also have small bumps at the back of my tongue (probably swollen taste buds). Is it related to that white growth?


Sorry to hear that you have a whitish areas on the left side of your tongue, and that you have swollen bumps on the back of your tongue that have you worried. I am happy to give you some of my thoughts as to what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with an otolaryngologist or ENT (aka Ears Nose Throat) physician to get evaluated. they will be able to ask you questions and examine you which I am not able to do, and they will be able to give you a more accurate differential diagnosis than I can as I speculate as to what might be going on. If the white area is along the lateral aspect of you tongue in the location where your teeth come together (called the interdental line) then it is possible that the area is a hyperkeratosis for repeated bite trauma. If the white area is able to be scraped off, and leaves behind an erythematous (red and inflamed) tongue mucosa, then it makes me think that it may be thrush (a fungal infection). There are numerous other causes of course which an ENT will be able to help you figure out. Also it is possible that you are just seeing the circumvallate papillae (normal taste buds) on the back of your tongue, which the ENT can determine.

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