General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Multiple painless bumps in mouth?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15713points) June 11th, 2012

My husband has dipped smokeless tobacco for about 7 years. He’s now 22 and after many times trying to quit, he seems to be doing pretty well (3 days without it, which is better than he’s done in the past). At most, he dipped ½ can a day, but normally not even that much. He has no history of cancer in his family and has always been healthy.

About six years ago, he had to have a bunch of dental work done – root canals, crowns, etc. Back then, he noticed a bump on the floor of his mouth under his tongue. He asked his dentist back then and he told him it was trauma. It hasn’t changed in six years and it doesn’t hurt, but the dentist said it MIGHT go away and it hasn’t. I thought it might be scar tissue, but I’m not sure.

For at least a year, he’s also had one bump on the inside of both of his cheeks (no, not the ones by the teeth that are supposed to be there). I can’t see them, but he can feel them. They also haven’t changed since he noticed them, and they also don’t hurt. In the past week since he planned to stop dipping, he’s gotten a little anxious because he discovered a new bump next to one on his cheek. He isn’t sure if it’s been there a long time or not because it’s not a part of his mouth he normally feels with his tongue. It’s the same as the others.

He’s got a dentist appointment on Wednesday, but I’m really worried. None of these bumps look scary like the oral cancer pictures I’ve seen and, like I said, I can’t even see the ones on his cheeks. I’m just so worried that it might be something bad caused by the dipping. There’s nothing suspicious on his tongue or gums where oral cancer normally shows up, he doesn’t have a sore throat or trouble swallowing, and he hasn’t lost any weight.

I know no one here can tell me if it’s cancer or not, but maybe someone knows more about this stuff than I do and can maybe put my mind at ease. He’s so young, and I know oral cancer is most prevalent in those 60 and older, but I also know cancer doesn’t discriminate. He’s always had issues with frequent canker sores, but these are totally painless and, it appears, not going away. Any thoughts on what these bumps might be?

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If it is not dental-related, he needs to see his primary care physician and then possibly an
ear, nose and throat (ENT) guy.

The dentist’s opinion is a good start. Wed. is only two days away.

Glad your husband has finally stopped.

JLeslie's avatar

I am glad he is having it checked. Maybe it is HPV? The dentist should be able to check for it I think, or he will recommend you to the right type of specialist.

trailsillustrated's avatar

< is a dentist- there is such a thing called a ‘mucocele’ that is a blocked salivary gland. Painless, and usually located under the tonque. Usually resolves but doesn’t always, related to trauma. The other bumps can be easily checked at his Wednesday appointment, easy to biopsy. Good luck and don’t worry. There are a multitude of HARMLESS things that could be causing this. PS changes caused by dipping are usually quite specific looking and this doesn’t sound related to that- you’ll find out Wednesday.

chyna's avatar

@Jleslie Of all the things that this could possibly be, you come up with an STD? I’m sure if you had the same question here, you wouldn’t like someone to suggest your husband had an STD of the mouth.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna How many women do you know who are positive for HPV of the cervix? We talk about PAP smears like no big deal, that we should get them done regularly, we advise it to our friends and jellies. I wish my mouth and anus and all other women were tested at least every 3 years for HPV in their mouth at least, especially if they have been positive for cervical HPV. Maybe Farrah Fawcett would be alive, and the soap opera actress Colleen Zenk Pinter would not have had half her tongue cut out, and I believe Michael Douglas also stated his oral cancer was HPV related. Doctors often don’t test for the virus even when there are symptoms. As long as we are uptight as a society about STD’s we will continue to be sick and die, and spread the virus more. And, it makes me sick the AMA and CDC and other associations does not do more to rienforce the need for some sort of routine testing, or at least the risk.

I have no idea what the symptoms are for it, and if what the OP describes could be related, but I am glad he is getting it checked out. I would lean towards our resident dentist @trailsillustrated giving great advice on possibilities, but spreading the awareness of STD’s is smething I tend to do when I have an openng for it, our of concern for people, all of us all people. If you feel I am a little overzealous about it, I am sorry for that, but I don’t really feel badly about informing people in general that your SO can give you cancer so to speak. The OP had already looked up cancer symptoms, seems that it most likely is not cancer, thank goodness. I don’t think I wrote anything too scary to mention.

gailcalled's avatar

Edited by me.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie The symptoms don’t seem to match HPV either. Also, he had a blood test for STDs before we got married, about a month ago, because he was sexually active before we met and I wasn’t, so he wanted to make sure he was healthy before we thought about the possibility of having children one day.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 There isn’t a blood test for HPV. There are blood tests for HSV and HIV. You have to have a sample of it to look at the tissue or DNA test it. Men are not tested for it. That is why women are so vulnerable and we get PAP smears every year. There is the vaccine for it also of course, but that just covers a few strains, the ones most likely to cause cancer. I see stats as low as 50% of all women have been exposed to HPV to as high as 80%. It is extremely common. This is why I get kind of upset when people are horrified a sex partner might have HPV, most of us do, and we don’t know it, and we could have caught it at any time in many ways. I think probably if it were HPV it would look like cauliflower/warts not just small pimple like things, is that what you found with your research?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Good to know. And, yes, that’s what I found.

Well, the dentist said that nothing in his mouth looks like cancer and those bumps have probably been there forever. He says my husband is just in panic mode and making himself worry. So, that’s good news. But he also says he can see where the dip has caused irritation on his lip/gums where he put the tobacco most often. So he’ll have to follow up every two months. Hopefully this was enough of a scare to keep him off of it for good, but I’m glad nothing is really wrong.

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