Q. Does persistent burning sensation in the tongue with ear and jaw pain indicate oral cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 24, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have had persistent tongue-burning symptoms on the right side of my tongue for the last six months. I have been using a complete upper denture and a partial lower denture. After using my partial lower denture for a few days, I started having frequent ear and jaw pain, mainly on the left side but sometimes on the right side. I have also noticed a pea size swollen preauricular lymph on the left side of the ear, which is soft and mobile. Interestingly, I do not feel any pain in my tongue when I have ear or jaw pain. Occasionally, I have burning tongue symptoms more prominently when I do not have ear pain. I have a fear that this is a sign of oral cancer. Please give me your advice on what shall I do.

Thank you.



Welcome to

I read your query and understand your concern.

Oral cancer does not start with a burning sensation in the tongue. It can start with an ulcer or a cauliflower mass which is usually painless. Please capture a photo of your tongue from both sides and send it to me. The soft mobile preauricular lymph node is not malignant. A malignant lymph node is hard and fixed, and usually painless.

Thank you.

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