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Mouth Diseases

Purple-bluish spots on tongue

09/27/2006

Question:

There has appeared within the last two weeks these purlish-bluish spots on the right half of my tongue. It`s not painful but I`m concerned that this may be an early warning sign of some ailment. What caused it?

Answer:

It is difficult to say what this represents based on your description.  Middle-aged or older people will often develop varicose veins in the mouth, including the tongue, but this doesn't happen in a few weeks.  Trauma (biting injury) to the tongue could cause bleeding into the tissues just under the mucosa (skin) of the tongue, and this could have a purple-blue color. 

If the areas persist for longer than two weeks, you may want to see an oral pathologist for evaluation.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University