Bumps on tongue and back of tongue, causes and home remedies

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Oral Care | Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 03:00 PM

Bumps on tongueBumps on tongue and bumps on the back of the tongue could be scary if you don’t know what caused them. The good news is, most cases of bumps are easily resolved and are not threatening. There are, though, some cases that require medical intervention, so it’s always best to speak to your doctor to distinguish which one is your case.

Having bumps on the tongue or at the back of it can be a nuisance as it can get in the way of eating, talking, swallowing, and even tasting.

If you’ve encountered bumps on your tongue or the back of your tongue, here is a list of common causes and natural remedies.

Causes of bump on tongue

Injury: Biting, burning, or any other injury to the tongue can cause temporary bumps and soreness. The good news is that it is temporary and will heal.

Nutritional deficiencies: Being deficient in certain vitamins can lead to bumps on tongue.

Allergy: When you come into contact with an allergen, bumps can form on the tongue as a reaction.

Smoking: Excessive smoking irritates the tongue thus causing bumps.

Specific medical conditions: Anemia and diabetes, for example, are conditions that can cause bumps on tongue.

Canker sores: Canker sores are mouth ulcers, which can worsen during times of stress, although the exact cause is unknown.

Stomatitis: This is a result of poor dental hygiene.

Scarlet fever: This is a streptococcal infection that can lead to red bumps on tongue. It is also accompanied by a fever.

Herpes: Herpes can form painful red bumps on the tongue and typically lasts for seven days.

Kawasaki syndrome: This condition affects children under the age of five. It impacts the blood vessels and causes bumps on the tongue to appear.

Burning tongue syndrome: This syndrome occurs in menopause and is characterized by the burning feeling in the tongue.

Enlarged papillae: Bumps at the back of tongue could be a result of enlarged papillae – taste buds – as they become irritated and swell.

Oral thrush: This is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth. Oral thrush can be caused by steroids, antibiotics as they kill off good bacteria, diabetes, and it is most commonly seen in the elderly or small children.

Leukoplakia: Cells in the mouth start growing excessively, which causes white patches along the mouth and tongue. This could be an early sign of cancer and can be triggered by tobacco.

Oral cancer: If bumps stay after two to three weeks, it may be an early sign of oral cancer and it’s best to consult your doctor about your concerns.

Bumps on the back of tongue

tongueThe causes of bump on tongue listed above could also apply to bumps on the back of the tongue along with a few other causes, which include:

Natural bumps: We all have natural bumps at the back of the tongue, but different conditions – a sinus infection, for example – can cause irritation, making them more noticeable. Some people have larger taste buds than others, meaning they naturally have larger bumps on the back of the tongue, which shouldn’t raise any concern.

Trauma: Biting, burning, or even brushing your tongue too hard can result in bumps on the back of the tongue. Tongue trauma usually resolves itself, but using an antiseptic mouthwash can speed up healing and prevent infection.

Warts: Warts are a result of infection and can occur anywhere in and around the mouth. The most common cause is when you put an infected finger in your mouth. Warts will appear with a slightly different color, which distinguishes them from other bumps on the back of the tongue.

Bumps on the sides of the tongue

Any of the abovementioned causes could lead to bumps on the side of the tongue with a few extra causes. For starters, ill-fitting dentures can lead to lesions on the side of the tongue, so you may want to speak to your dentist about correcting the problem.

Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory condition that leads to white patches and ulcers on the lining of the mouth. Bumps and red sores can develop along the tongue as well. Practicing good hygiene along with avoiding spicy and acidic foods could help prevent oral lichen planus.

Red bumps on the tongue

There are numerous reasons as to why red bumps may appear on the tongue. Trauma, irritation, and eating salty or sugary foods can all cause the natural bumps on your tongue to go red.

Illness like a common cold, flu, and sinus infections can also irritate the taste buds at the back of the tongue, causing those bumps to redden. Lastly, sores, allergies, or herpes can all contribute to red bumps, so to rule out why your tongue has red bumps see a doctor.

Home remedies for bumps on tongue

Vanilla yogurt promotes happinessHere are some home remedies you can try in order to reduce bumps on your tongue. Keep in mind that some causes for bumps on tongue require medical attention, so if it is something more serious go see your doctor for a prescription. These remedies can help you better treat tongue injuries, minor illnesses, and allergies.

  • Gargle warm salt water
  • Chew mint leaves
  • Eat foods that are cold and soft like yogurt
  • Avoid food triggers if you have allergies, or triggers that can worsen the pain and swelling of bumps – such as salty or acidic food
  • Maintain good oral hygiene with brushing, flossing, and mouth-washing
  • Visit your dentist regularly to spot any changes to your oral health

When to see a doctor for bumps on tongue

When the bumps on tongue become large and discolored, go visit your doctor right away. If the bumps have been around for weeks that should be another indication to see your doctor, too. Lastly, if the bumps appear to only be on one side without a viable explanation, visit your doctor.

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