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Burning sensation on tongue when eating or drinking, bulge on tongue, history of smoking. Oral cancer?

Hi I m actually inquiring about my husbands symptoms. He is 47 years old, hasn t smoked cigarettes for 2 years now, but was a heavy smoker for many years before he quit. He is a heavy beer drinker, probably drinks an average of 12 beers 4 to 6 days a week. He also has extensive dental problems including cavities and gum disease. His symptoms include a bad burning sensation on his tongue when he eats or drinks anything which has persisted for about 2 to 3 weeks now. Today he discovered a lump or bulge in his tongue on the left side. From what I m reading, there is cause for concern about oral cancer .
Asked On : Sun, 14 Oct 2012
Answers:  3 Views:  153
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Dentist, Periodontics 's  Response
hi, from the symptoms you have described and his history of chronic smoking and drinking, there is high possibility that it could be oral cancer. The other symptoms that can help you diagnose the problem are -
A red or white patch on the tongue, that will not go away
A sore throat that does not go away
A sore spot on the tongue that does not go away
Pain when swallowing
Numbness in the mouth that will not go away
Unexplained bleeding from the tongue (that is not caused by biting your tongue or other injury)
Pain in the ear (rare)
Its advisabel to meet your doctor and get a biosy done at the earliest.
take care
Answered: Sun, 14 Oct 2012
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Dentist Dr. Geoffrey Ward's  Response
Hello and thank you for your question.
Your concern is very accurate. A history of heavy smoking and drinking in that amount of excess in combination of poor oral hygiene makes you at a high risk level for developing oral cancers. Most common location to find these cancers in the office is on the sides of the tongue. Burning tongue can be caused by multiple health factors. Many of these are benign.

The best action to take is to go to your dentist immediate for an evaluation and perhaps get a biopsy if the problem persists. Oral cancer is a very fast spreading disease and is best addressed immediately. Unfortunately without evaluation and/or biopsy, I cannot give you a diagnosis.

Do not fear the worst for there are many imitators in the realms of issues regarding the tongue. Just take the time to set up an appointment and rule out the possibility for cancer. I would strongly encourage your husband to discontinue his risky behavior and stop drinking because at that level he is going to destroy his liver and die from alcohol related damages.

Best wishes and good health

Dr. Ward
Answered: Sun, 14 Oct 2012
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Dentist Dr. Bindiya Bhaskar's  Response
this condition is known as glossopyrosis.this is due to desquamation of filiform paplillae that results from poor oral hygiene maintenance.
this is also known as hairy tongue/lingua nigra/lingua villosa/.
associated symptoms are-
burning tongue,tickling sensation in the soft palate and oral pharynx during swallowing.retention of oral debris b/w elongated papillae may result in halitosis.
tongue has a thick coating in the middle,with a greater accentuation toward the back.
complications are-occasional candidal overgrowth,often results in uncomfortable glossopyrosis,altered taste sensation.
it is treated by-
in many cases,simply brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or using a commercially available tongue scraper is sufficient to remove elongated filiform papillae.
surgical removal of papillae by using electrodesiccation,carbon-dioxide laser.
make sure that tongue brushing or scraping is the part of daily oral hygiene regimen.
Answered: Sun, 14 Oct 2012
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