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Dark purple spot on lower front/right gum
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Dark purple spot on lower front/right gum

I recently found a small(1mm), dark purple spot on my lower right gum that is not painful or swollen.  It almost looks like it is hollow underneath the gum in this spot especially when I run my finger across to displace the blood flow.  I used chewing tobacco on and off for about 4 years and quit recently.  This area concerns me b/c this spot is near an area where I used to place the snuff against the lip.  I am going to see a dentist this week but wanted to get an opinion here as well.  Most oral cancers that I've read have the appearance of white raised or red inflamed- this is neither.  Thanks for any help that you can give me on this topic.  

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I agree.  Generally oral cancer has a white or red or a combination of the two appearance.  But to definitively rule it as cancer or not would require a biopsy under a microscope.  A small purple spot usually indicates something vascular (related to the blood vessels) such as bruising or trauma.  There are some cases of blood vessel cancers as well.  Best thing to do is to see your dentist and get a proper biopsy to rule it out.  

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