Q. I have a red lump under my tongue which is getting bigger. Could it be canker sore?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 08, 2020 and last reviewed on: Sep 11, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have a red lump under my tongue. It is looking like a canker sore, but now the white has gone away and seems to have gotten a little bigger. There is no pain. I have had it for over two weeks now.



Welcome to

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from a red lump under your tongue, which started out looking like a canker sore, but now white has gone away and got a little bigger.

According to the pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity), that are provided here you may suffer from canker sore or aphthous ulcer. Canker sore or aphthous ulcer may result from a weakened immune system due to illness, hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiencies like vitamin B12 and folate, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, repeated irritation from sharp objects, autoimmune disorders, viral or bacterial or fungal infections, carcinoma, tobacco chewing, etc.

You can use Amlexanox oral paste on your affected area and take vitamin B12 and folate enriched foods or supplements with gargle with salt mixed lukewarm water three to four times daily.

Thank you doctor,

I know without doing a biopsy, you cannot tell, but does it look cancerous? I am not a smoker or chewer, and I do take a daily vitamin, but I will try some of your other suggestions.



Welcome back to

Yes, you are absolutely right. Without doing a biopsy, we cannot tell whether it is cancerous or not. But to me, it does not seem to be cancerous. There are many causes or factors which may help to develop such type of canker sore or aphthous ulcer. I have mentioned earlier some causes which may responsible for your canker sore or aphthous ulcer. Even emotional stress or depression or anxiety may help to develop canker sore.

Canker sore may disappear as time passes. It may take few days to few weeks to heal. So, please do not be worried. If it is not subsided within one month then you can undergo for a biopsy from your canker sore and biopsy will reveal everything regarding your aphthous ulcer and then do as needful.

In your country, Amlexanox oral paste may not be available. You can use Hydrocortisone cream instead of Amlexanox along with your current vitamin supplements.

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