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Eroded area on the side of tongue with burning sensation. Any treatment?

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Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 183 Questions
I have an eroded area on the side of my tongue accompanied by a burning sensation similar to burning the tongue with a hot liquid.
Posted Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Geoffrey Ward 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for your question.
In order to answer this more efficiently, I need to have a few questions answered:
1. Do you use tobacco products, drugs or alcohol?
2. Do you have a family history of any significant illnesses?
3. How long has the lesion been there?
4. Are you able to post a picture of the lesions on this site so I may look at them?

I am looking forward to helping you with the information I receive.


Dr. Ward
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Eroded area on the side of tongue with burning sensation. Any treatment? 21 hours later
!. I do drink a moderate amount of alcohol but have never smoked. I have been exposed to many chemicals in laboratories for work and on a farm.
2. One son has been diagnosed with Chrohn's the other with ankoloysing spondalitis. My mother died of ovarian cancer, my father is still living and healthy.
3. I have felt something there for months but treated as a burn/injury and it sort of came and went. about 4 weeks ago the sensation just remained and I looked more closely and saw the area was eroded with a possible raised area in the centre of the eroded area.
4. I don't think I could get a clear enough picture to be of any good.
I had a peripheral blood smear that showed an abnormal ratio of alpha and kappa cells. I am currently waiting on a follow result.
Answered by Dr. Geoffrey Ward 21 hours later
Hello and thank you for your response.
I strongly encourage you to go to your dentist for a thurough evaluation. Ulcerations on the sides of the tongue for prolonged periods of time should always be evaluated in person and have a biopsy. Ulcerations in that location could possibly be squamous cell carcinoma and should always be ruled out. This type of cancer becomes malignant very rapidly and should be addressed ASAP. This is usually seen in people who smoke and drink moderate to heavily.

Other possibilities could be benign entities such as traumatic ulceration from a sharp tooth that needs to be smoothed down or geographical tongue. These are both benign. The geographical tongue is an area of inflammation that flares up and is usually caused by spicey or acidic foods such as peppers or citric fruits.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I am here to answer them for you.


Dr. Ward
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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