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Ask Dr. Abby Your Own Question
Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I have a painful lump on the back of my tongue that I can't

Resolved Question:

I have a painful lump on the back of my tongue that I can't see. I have had it for a couple weeks now. Any idea of what it could be?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.

How do you know that it is a lump? Have you felt it?
Any fever?
Difficulty swallowing?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I can feel it when I swallow and when I push my tongue to the back of my throat. I do not have a fever. It is painful to swallow.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thank you.
When you push your tongue back, where do you feel the lump?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The left hand side of my throat. It kind of burns lately. I do no have tonsils.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Thank you,

Without being able to look in your throat, it is difficult to tell you exactly what it is.
You may be feeling an aphthous ulcer (which may feel like a lump if the edges surrounding the ulcer itself are raised).

Another possibility is you are feeling an enlarged circumvallate papillae. These are located on the back of the tongue and are normally flat or slightly raised. You may have an irritated or inflammed papillae.

As you likely know, your doctor needs to do an oral exam in order to see exactly what it is.

If you have any more details regarding what you are feeling or seeing or the exact location (ie if it isn't truly on the tongue), please let me know and I may be able to help further.

Dr Abby
Dr. Abby and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I used a flash light to look back by my throat, which I have done a couple of weeks ago and did not see anything. This time when I looked there are two reddish swollen bumps on where my tonsils used to be...So it is not on what I thought was my tongue. They are quite painful.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
I had a suspicion that it was not truly on your tongue..

Believe it or not, you can regrow your tonsils, especially if they were not completely removed.
You may have a throat infection (viral or strep). This would be the most likely scenario. Since they do not look like ulcers, apthous ulcers are pretty much ruled out.
As mentioned above, I would have your doctor look at your throat.
Until you can get to your doctor, use warm salt water gargles, numbing throat sprays, tylenol or motrin.

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My tonsils were removed when I was 16.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
It is still a possibility.
I honestly have seen it....

Painful bumps in the back of the throat can also be due to viral infections such as CMV, coxsackie or herpesviruses.

I would have your doctor look at the bumps so that they can be accurately diagnosed.

Dr Abby