Even though finding a black spot or dot on the inside of your cheek can be unsettling, it’s not always a dangerous symptom. Your mouth may become discolored due to a number of benign conditions, including moles, hyperpigmentation, and filling leaking. A black spot may occasionally be an indication of oral melanoma, a rare form of cancer.
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, oral melanoma makes up less than 1% of all melanomas and about 1.6 percent of head and neck cancers. Learn what can be causing a black spot on the inside of your cheek and when you should consult a doctor by reading on.
What’s the main cause of black dot in the cheeks?
The following circumstances may lead to the development of a black dot, a tiny, circular mark, on the inside of your cheek.
Small brown, bluish-grey, or nearly black spots called oral nevi can form inside your mouth. Moles are referred to as nevi in medicine (nevus is singular). Oral nevi are often mildly elevated. They can develop on the cheeks but are more frequently found on the inner lip or roof of the mouth. Typically, they don’t result in any symptoms. An oral nevus often does not require treatment, and there have been no reports of oral nevi developing into malignancy. However, to confirm that it is a nevus and not a melanoma, your doctor or dentist can still advise getting a biopsy.
Blood blisters are fluid-filled sacs that contain blood. They come in a variety of hues, from dark red to purple. They frequently develop as a result of mouth skin irritation. Blood blisters are frequently large enough for your tongue to feel them. The sensitive areas of your mouth, such as your cheeks or inside lips, are where they most frequently develop. They usually hurt when touched or after eating hot food.
Most blood blisters disappear quickly and don’t require any care if you leave them alone. Visit your doctor, however, if the blood blister persists for longer than two weeks or starts to recur again.
Areas of hyperpigmentation called oral melanotic macules typically measure about a quarter of an inch in diameter. They may only be 0.04 inches in size. These areas often have a flat surface and a distinct border. Even though oral melanotic macules are benign, your doctor might advise a biopsy to screen out melanoma.
What’s the main cause of dark dot in the cheeks?
The potential reasons for black patches on the inside of your cheek are as follows. Spots are bigger than dots, though their sizes might vary.
Dental filling leakage
The components of amalgam are mercury, tin, zinc, silver, and copper. It has been utilized for dental fillings for more than 150 years. These dental filling leakages result in amalgam tattoos. They typically have a dark blue, grey, or black appearance and are relatively frequent. They are typically found adjacent to a filling.
Amalgam tattoos have no symptoms and don’t require any medical attention. Unless surgically removed with a laser, they are irreversible.
Melanoma from smoking
Smoking can cause smoker’s melanosis, which is blotchy stains that develop inside of your cheeks and gums. Smokers make up about 22% of those who have this discoloration. Both symptoms and therapy are not necessary for these stains. However, in order to rule out other illnesses, your doctor will probably advise a biopsy. With electrosurgery or laser therapy, the stains can be eliminated.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that affects melanocytes, which are pigmented cells.
Melanoma can develop in your mouth and nose although it most usually occurs on skin areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight. A dark patch within your cheek may, in exceedingly rare circumstances, be a symptom of oral melanoma.
Early oral melanoma symptoms are frequently nonexistent. The typical symptom is a dark brown to blue-black patch. It may also be white or not colored at all. The spot may experience pain, ulceration, and bleeding in its later stages.
Oral melanoma is often diagnosed at a 56-year-old age. Men are twice as likely as women to have oral cancer.
One form of treatment for oral melanoma is:
Syndrome of Peutz-Jeghers
In the intestines and stomach, Peutz-Jeghers disease creates noncancerous growths known as polyps. Along with dark spots on the lips, inside the mouth, next to the eyes and nose, and around the anus, this illness frequently affects children. Age typically causes the spots to diminish.Pain, bleeding, or intestinal blockage are among the problems that Peutz-Jeghers syndrome patients frequently experience.
There is currently no treatment for Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, but the polyps in the digestive tract can be removed surgically.
A lack of the hormones your adrenal glands produce is known as Addison’s disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency. Skin blotches inside of your mouth that are hyperpigmented are one of Addison’s disease’s symptoms.
Additional signs include:
Craving for salt
Low blood glucose
The hormones that your adrenal glands are unable to produce on their own can be replaced by medication.
When should you go and visit a doctor?
Even though the likelihood of getting oral melanoma is extremely low, it’s wise to visit your doctor any time you discover a spot or dot in your mouth that has an unusual hue.
If you are older than 55, getting the location checked is very crucial. Oral cancer is more likely to strike older people.
Determining the cause
To assist in confirming a diagnosis of the dark spot on your cheek, your doctor may perform the following tests:
A visual examination. During a physical examination, your doctor might be able to recognize the location based only on its look.
Biopsy. Your doctor will perform a biopsy by removing a small portion of the spot and sending it to a lab for testing.
Blood analysis If you have Addison’s disease, your doctor can order a blood test to check your levels of potassium, cortisol, and ACTH hormones.
It’s rare that discovering a dark spot or dot on your tongue indicates malignancy. Showing it to your doctor or dentist is still a smart idea. Early detection and treatment of cancer can enhance your prognosis if it does turn out to be malignant.