ZocdocAnswersWhat is causing a recurring white sore on my tongue?

Question

What is causing a recurring white sore on my tongue?

I have a recurring white sore on the top of my tongue. It is roughly 5mm in size and is oval shaped. It feels lumpy to touch and is sore when pressed or if talking, eating etc. Its on the top of my tongue almost right in the centre (just off to one side slightly). There is no visible redness around it or anywhere else on my tongue. I had it for several weeks earlier this year and went to GP. She referred me for HbA1c as I have had gestational diabetes previously - this showed I am prediabetic. However she didn't give me any advice on whether this was likely to be related. The sore cleared up of its own accord not long afterward but returned a few weeks ago in the exact same location, and isn't showing any sign of clearing up again. What could this be? As a bit of background, I'm a 32yo female with: Asthma Prediabetes Possible epilepsy (currently under investigation) Chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps and allergic rhinitis Mild eczema

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have a recurrent white bump on your tongue that has you worried, and that you are unsure what it might be. I will give you some of my initial thoughts as to what might be going on, but I am ultimately going to recommend that you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician to get evaluated. They are well trained in dealing with oral pathology, including both benign and malignant (i.e. cancers) lesions within the oral cavity. Ultimately they may decide to perform a biopsy if they are concerned about what it might be. There are a number of different causes for a recurrent bump on your tongue. Sometime one of the taste buds can get inflamed and swollen from recurrent trauma and can become large and irritated. Also, leukoplakia (or whitish plaque like lesions on mucosal surfaces) can show up on different areas of the tongue. They are generally benign (non cancerous), although there are some precancerous lesions (dysplasia) that can look similar, which is why it is important to get evaluated by someone that deals with oral pathology a lot. They will be able to tell you if the lesion is concerning enough to perform a biopsy. To my knowledge, there is no association with any of these oral lesions and diabetes. I hope that this information is helpful and that you get the answers you want from the ENT. Best of luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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