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Suite 300, Moline, IL 61265
(309) 277-3480
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Is a Bleeding Sore Under My Tongue an Emergency?

I have a sore under my tongue that bleeds. It doesn’t bleed constantly, but maybe every few days. It doesn’t hurt. I noticed it a month ago when I was doing a Zoom whitening touch-up and taking my trays out of my mouth. Also, the sore is hard to see. At first, I couldn’t tell where the blood was coming from. Is this something that will heal in time, or do I need to see my dentist? My boyfriend keeps telling me to go to the doctor. Thanks. Charla from S. Carolina


You should call your dentist right away for an appointment.

Is a Sore Under Your Tongue Serious?

A sore under the tongue can be related to oral tissue, nerves under the tongue, or blood vessels. Most often, the growths are non-cancerous. Even when a growth is precancerous, early detection is the key to successful treatment.

If a sore appears and does not go away in a week or two, it is a reason to see your dentist. Your dentist is trained to examine the mouth and tongue for abnormalities and may want to remove the growth for a biopsy. The biopsy will evaluate the tissue to determine whether it is cancerous.

Custom teeth bleaching trays perhaps for Zoom whitening
Discontinue Zoom whitening touch-ups if you have unusual mouth sores

Blood vessels under the tongue can burst and cause abnormal and alarming bleeding. A dentist can cauterize the vessels to stop the bleeding. It is impossible to say what the growth is beneath your tongue without an examination. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist right away.

Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, tongue, and throat. Also, your dentist will ask about your general health and any recent changes in your health, medication, or weight. Please discontinue your Zoom whitening touch-ups until you see your dentist.

Dr. Thomas Goebel, a Moline, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

The Implants in My Overdenture Keep Breaking

Three of the six dental implants I received in June 2020 have broken. When the first one broke, my dentist said that few things last like they used to. After removing the first broken implant, I had to wait a while to replace it. Since that time, two more have broken. When I agreed to implants for a fixed denture, I thought that I would get better results than having a removable denture. But this is so disappointing and time-consuming that I believe that getting implant dentures was a mistake. How common are broken implants? Is it too late to switch back to a removable denture? Thank you. Doug from Akron, Ohio


Thank you for your question. It is unusual for dental implants to break. We recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist with advanced training in implants. Dr. Goebel would need to examine your implants and take a 3-D CT scan to identify the source of the problem. But we will discuss potential causes of the problem.

What Causes Dental Implants to Break?

Dental implants may break if the implant fixtures are inferior, or the implants or replacement teeth are not in the optimal position. Also, if you lack enough bone volume to place the implants, they may weaken and break.

1. Inferior Dental Implant Fixtures

Cheap dental implants can help a dentist save money. If an overseas manufacturer makes the implants, a dentist can purchase them for a few dollars, compared with high-quality, regulated implants from the U.S. that can cost hundreds of dollars each. Cheap parts break. Broken dental implants should be a warning signal to a dentist to change their supplier.

Continued use of low-quality implants reflects a lack of concern about your oral health. If your dentist replaces the broken dental implants and uses the same cheap fixtures, they will likely break again.

2. Poor Implant Placement

Diagram of a lower implant overdenture screwing onto dental implants
Implant overdenture

A dentist must place implants precisely for them to integrate with your bone and last. Just like tooth roots, implants must be strong enough to withstand the forces of biting, chewing, and grinding when you eat. An implant can only withstand the pressure if a dentist places it precisely. Skilled dentists use 3-D technology to make a digital model of your mouth and a surgical guide for precise placement.

Inadequate diagnostic studies or lack of diligence during implant surgery can cause a dentist to place implants precisely. Even a durable implant in the wrong location can loosen or get infected.

3. Position of Replacement Teeth

When replacement teeth are not in the optimal position, they put extra stress and pressure on your dental implants. After repeated pressure, your implants may weaken and break.

4. Lack of Jawbone Volume

Your jawbone is the foundation of dental implants. If a dentist places your implants in shallow bone, they can weaken and break. A 3-D CT scan is essential for planning where to locate implants for maximum support. A trained dentist will recommend bone grafting before implant placement if you lack bone volume.

No doubt, your dentist has taken shortcuts. Please do not let this dentist replace any more of your implants. Although your dentist may have saved money, you are paying the penalty with broken implants compromising your oral health. Start searching for a skilled dentist with a good reputation and good record of success. Look for dentists with extensive post-graduate training in implantology. A dentist with advanced implant training can help you avoid switching back to a removable denture.


Moline, Illinois dentist, Dr. Thomas Goebel, sponsors this post.