Benign salivary gland tumors occur as painless submucosal nodules. Buy an ulcerative carcinoma of the lip is painful as compared to the exophytic type. In carcinoma of the tongue, the nodule is initially painless but becomes painful when it ulcerates in later stages. Patients may also report pain in the same side ear due to the involvement of the nerves (the lingual nerve in tongue lesions and the auriculotemporal nerve in ear lesions).
Carcinoma of the lip is usually non-tender, but may become tender in a few cases. In contrast, carcinoma of the tongue is non-tender.
Carcinoma of the lip in late stages can have foul-smelling discharges, which looks thin, watery, and usually stained with blood. Such a discharge is usually infected.