How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mark Bornfeld, DDS Your Own Question

Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5791
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
2883465
Type Your Dental Question Here...
Mark Bornfeld, DDS is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a small, rock-hard, painless lump on my gum. Its on

Resolved Question:

I have a small, rock-hard, painless lump on my gum. It's on the inside face of my bottom row of teeth, right about between my left bicuspid and canine. It's about 1/2 way between the top of my gum line and the floor of my mouth. It's not fixed to my teeth/roots; I can move it around a little bit. It's maybe about as big as a drop of water. It's been here since late December, or at least that's when I first noticed it. It might be getting a little bit bigger, but it's hard to say. It's got an unbroken surface, there's no pus or anything.

I'm not sure if it's related, but I have a lymph node on my neck on my left side up by the jaw that's been swollen and painful (but not tender). This has been going on since mid January. It's not hard. I also have a low level sore throat all the time, and that's located only on the left side of my throat. Given it's position, I'm 90% sure that the sore throat is due to the swollen lymph node. If I press on the lymph node, I can make the sore throat worse. I saw a doctor about it in January, she gave me some antibiotics and when those didn't do anything basically said she had no idea and to come back in if it gets worse. She also took some blood and said my liver and kidneys were fine, I'm HIV negative but my white blood cell count was a bit low.

I was a heavy smoker and drinker from about 16 to 21. I'm 23 now, I quit smoking about 6 months ago and I cut back on drinking about 2 years ago. I still drink sometimes, but it's not even a weekly occurrence, and when I do drink it's generally a glass of wine with dinner. I'm currently taking wellbutrin, I'm male and I'm a vegetarian. I have no family history of anything but gout and heart problems.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 1 year ago.
Welcome, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

Would you be able to provide a photograph of the involved area? You may use the "paper clip" icon on the text entry form toolbar to upload a digital picture. Alternatively, you may send your picture to a photo hosting site, such as Flickr or Photobucket, and provide a link to the picture in a reply to this information request. This will allow me to provide a more accurate and relevant response...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't think so. It's on the inner side of my teeth/gums, I'd need some sort of mirror set-up that I don't have

Expert:  replied 1 year ago.

In the absence of diagnostic information, there are several potential diagnoses that are suggested by your description.

The first and most likely is a normal anatomic variant known as a "torus mandibularis". This is suggested by the location, and your characterization of the lump as being "rock hard". The consistency implied by that descriptor could only represent a growth of bone, because the hardest bone or epithelial-derived lesions do not begin to approach that level of hardness. Where your description begins to part company with a torus mandibularis is your report that you "...can move it around a little bit", because tori are fixed to the mandibular bone, and are immovable. Because of this, some additional factor would seem to apply. In the case of mandibular tori, scrapes and cuts are common, because the gum tissue overlying them tend to be thin and often sustain friction with food during chewing activity. Therefore, a torus with perhaps some local tissue trauma would be my first guess. Torus mandibularis does not require treatment unless its presence interferes with the placement of a denture, in which case it may be surgically re-contoured.

 

You can see a picture of torus mandibularis here:



Rarely, a fistula from a nearby tooth infection can drain to the gum surface in this area, but most fistulae are neither hard nor painless, and I include this for the sake of appearance. Other lesions that should be considered, although much less common, are epithelial neoplasms such as papillomas or keratoacanthomas, as well as granulomatous or infectious lesions (sarcoid, tuberculosis, or chancre). Malignancy would be very uncommon in this particular area, although salivary gland neoplasms do have some precedent here.

It is unlikely that your sore throat or lymph node are related to the lesion unless it represents infection; the lymph nodes in the neck do tend to become enlarged and tender in the presence of dental infection.

Hope this helps...

Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5791
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
Mark Bornfeld, DDS and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GE/gemini132/2012-6-7_14143_MarkPic.64x64.jpg Mark Bornfeld, DDS's Avatar

    Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drbehere/2010-04-11_192833_IMG_055575.jpg Dr. Behere's Avatar

    Dr. Behere

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1850
    Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/knecht522/2008-12-17_154020_alex22.jpg Dr. Alex's Avatar

    Dr. Alex

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1607
    I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doclagoa/2008-10-01_163313_geosmall.jpg Dr. George McKee's Avatar

    Dr. George McKee

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1392
    Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/slodentistry/2009-05-25_004702_h.jpg Dr. Girish's Avatar

    Dr. Girish

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    788
    19 years of clinical experience in all phases of Dentistry.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jwcdds/2009-05-09_190942_portrait.gif Julian Chen's Avatar

    Julian Chen

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    558
    Practicing General Dentist since 2002
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drwilldds/2009-10-29_201512_justanswer.jpg Dr. Winterholler's Avatar

    Dr. Winterholler

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    266
    4 years Private Practice, Heavy emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry and Implants, Top 10% of Dental Class