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Friction or Leukoplakia?
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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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Friction or Leukoplakia?

Over the past several months, I have developed a "scalloped" tongue. It's coincided with some gastrointestinal problems including hiatal hernia/GERD so I thought it could be due to that. I have also caught myself "choking" in my sleep a handful of times too, so I also thought it could be sleep apnea. In addition, my anxiety is through the roof and I notice myself pushing my tongue very hard against both sides of my teeth and/or the roof of my mouth. A couple of times I woke myself up because I was biting the left side of my tongue. The linea alba (particularly on my left cheek) has become more pronounced at times because I think I may also be biting my cheek (unconsciously). I also developed intermittent ear and jaw pain several months ago (TMJ? who knows.) I saw an EMT and he saw no signs of infection.

Anyway, underneath the scalloping I have developed this lesion which I originally assumed was related to all of the above and due to friction against my teeth, but after searching the internet I am now I'm becoming paranoid that it's hairy leukoplakia. But it is not white at all.

http://s1324.beta.photobucket.com/user/ArisL1/media/tongue_zps417bc48a.jpg.html

Can you tell what it might be?
540545_tn?1377626518
Have you seen a dentist at all about all these conditions?

Its hard to say on the photo.  Since I'm assuming you know hairy leukoplakia is associated with HIV/AIDS, I'm hoping you're not a high risk individual.  The only way to be sure if to go see your medical doctor and request a blood test.  I believe there's a saliva test that may be out on the market (there was talk of it) but I don't know if its available yet and how reliable it really is.  

4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry I meant ENT, not EMT (LOL).
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes I'm aware of the association which is what made me scared. As far as my risk level, last partner was 6 years ago. He said he was negative (though I have no "proof" other than his word). Before that, I had a few unprotected partners in my early twenties, but that was about 15 years ago. Never any drugs.

I have not yet seen a dentist as I don't have dental coverage.
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540545_tn?1377626518
Well, I would recommend getting tested just in case. The hairy leukoplakia wouldn't be treated by a dentist anyways.  It would be addressed by your primary care physician.  
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