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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes painful bumps under the tongue?

Answered by
Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 11577 Questions

Posted on Fri, 24 Aug 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have small painful bumps on the underside of my tongue on the right side. What can this be?
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 16 minutes later
Brief Answer:
several conditions possible

Detailed Answer:


In most cases, these are just enlarged papillae of the tongue which is a normal variation of tongue anatomy. These may become more prominent over some time or as a reaction to some food or smoking. This should not be treated. Some more serious causes are rare and include infectious issues such as aphthous ulcer, herpes or syphilis but these would manifest with painful red bumps and fever. Lastly, tumors and other pathologies are rare in your age and this is usually manifested as one large and painful bump, mostly located in other parts of the mouth. Another cause is lymphoepithelial cysts which are benign things.

I suggest seeing ENT doctor if symptoms persist or bumps grow. At this point, there is no need to be worried.

Hope I have answered your query.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 3 days later
I also want to ask you about the fact that I have HPV and I read that increases my risk for oral cancer. And, I also have a small painful bump on the side of my tongue in the back near to my throat. I quit smoking last march using nicotine lozenges, but I have been using the lozenges since then. when I was informed that these lozenges increase the risk of mouth cancer, I quit them but that was only a week ago. Should I be worried and see a doctor?
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 31 hours later
Brief Answer:
Not urgent

Detailed Answer:


Yes, HPV, smoking and alcohol are risk factors for oral cancer but generally this cancer is very rare and most lesions in mouth are benign. These risk factors should be avoided. But I don't think that some urgent exam is required. Only if there will be increasing pain and lump growth then you should see ENT doctor.

Take Care!

Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein,
General Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana

The User accepted the expert's answer

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