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Smoker. Found small hard lump on the roof of mouth. What is the disease called?

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Practicing since : 2000
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Hi there,

I'd deeply appreciate any input on the following health concern.

I'm a 31-year old woman, who doesn't drink but smoked for 10 years (I stopped 3 years ago). Apart from a rather nasty cold/cough that began last week, my general health is very good.

Last night I noticed a small, hard, immovable lump on the roof of my mouth, situated towards the front and right of the centre. I'm not certain how long it's been there, although while I have XXXXXXX on my lower jaw (possibly linked to tooth-grinding) I've never noticed lumps in this area previously. The skin around the lump became sore & inflamed this morning, although I'm not sure whether this is related, or whether I've irritated it by my prodding! The lump itself is painless. It's hard to gauge the size, as while it feels large when touched with my tongue, it's much harder to feel with a finger.

I've recently seen both a dentist (January) and hygienist (last week) for routine appointments, neither of whom raised any concerns.

Many thanks in advance for your time, XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 1 Apr 2013 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 42 minutes later
Hi there, thanks for asking. You have had a good observation. Leukoplakia is a painless and hard patch inside the mouth which is a benign lesion. It is seen more is smokers. It also could be related to chronic irritation by your grinding. It is good to stop or at least decrease your smoking. It is also very good to show to it to the dentist to examine it to see the lesion. Sometimes they may send the sample for pathology reading. There is one or two percent chance that it changes over time so you should pay attention to it. Let me know if you have any other question. Best wishes.
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Follow-up: Smoker. Found small hard lump on the roof of mouth. What is the disease called? 53 minutes later
Hi Dr. Hajiazim, thanks for your reply. I actually stopped smoking three years ago (sorry, I must not have made that clear in my previous message). Also, it is a raised lump, not a hard patch. Does this change your opinion at all? I have an appointment with the dentist, but the earliest she see me is a fortnight, and this seems like a long time to feel worried!

Secondly, could I ask you whether it is possibly related to my recent virus (I've heard that a sinus infection can cause lumps in the roof if the mouth).

Thanks & best wishes, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 21 minutes later

Thanks for your question. It could be related to viral infection since some of them induce immune reaction in the adjacent area which is benign.
It still could be leukoplakia since they are a raised tissue. Sometimes they may be seen even in the people who have already quit smoking.
However, it is benign.
Let me know if you have any question regarding it.
I wish you a good health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Smoker. Found small hard lump on the roof of mouth. What is the disease called? 1 hour later
Dear Dr. Hajiazim, many thanks for your helpful response. An obvious fear with any kind of lump is that it may be malignant, but judging from your reply this seems less likely than I feared. I will see the dentist as advised, but your reassurance will help make the next fortnight less anxiety-provoking!

Please could I trouble you with one final query? It would be helpful to know what, in your opinion, implies the lump is not immediately suggestive of an oral cancer?

With best wishes, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 7 hours later

Thank you for asking. The most common sites for the malignant tumors of the mouth are on the tongue and floor of the mouth.
Thanks for your wishes!
Dr. Hajiazim
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