What's Really Causing Your Swollen Taste Buds
Taste buds are microscopic, which means you should not feel them, but sometimes your taste buds can swell, enlarge, and become inflamed. Inflamed taste buds can become irritated and painful, causing extreme discomfort while eating or drinking. Read on to learn what your taste buds are trying to tell you. Are Swollen Taste Buds Harmful? Enlarged taste buds can be pretty uncomfortable.
Typically, they are not symbolic of a more severe condition, and the swelling will go away on their own with time. However, some issues can lead to frequent swelling or tongue pain, which should be diagnosed and treated. Potential Causes of Swollen Taste Buds There are a few potential causes that can cause damage to your taste buds. While taste buds typically regenerate approximately every weeks, there are times when they can become damaged, burned, or inflamed for different reasons, including the following: Acid Reflux.
When harmful stomach acid rides up into the throat and mouth, it can burn the taste buds in the back of your throat or on other areas of your tongue. Dry Mouth. A history of or exposure to radiation of the head and neck. Infections, such as a cold, flu, fungal, or bacterial illness.
Poor Oral Hygiene. Not properly brushing and rinsing your mouth and teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco products or other products that contain nicotine. Exposure to extremely hot or cold foods that caused a burn, cut, or another injury to the mouth can result in inflammation or swelling. Eating extremely spicy or very sour foods. Taking certain medications that are very acidic on the tongue can result in swelling. How to Treat Swollen Taste Buds If a specific condition is causing your taste bud issue, here are a few things you can do to prevent your swollen taste buds from returning: If acid reflux is causing you painful taste buds, take antacids, H2-receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors to reduce or block stomach acid from reaching the mouth.
If food allergies are the culprit, avoid foods that trigger your symptoms. Any infections caused by bacteria should be treated with antibiotics. Taking a vitamin supplement to correct a vitamin deficiency can bring your body levels back up to normal.
Gargle with a mixture of warm water and salt three times a day to help your mouth heal and stay clean. If swollen taste buds are a frequent occurrence, speak with your doctor about a treatment plan to determine the cause. Inflamed taste buds can be a sign of a more severe problem, such as tongue cancer. Frequent pain in the mouth. A white or red patch on your tongue, gums, or anywhere on the inside of the mouth.
Numbness of the tongue. A lump on the inner cheek. Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving your jaw. A lump on your neck. Loose teeth. High fever. A lingering cough. Your doctor or dentist will be able to help diagnose the cause of swollen taste buds by examining your tongue and noting the color, texture, and size.
If you have any concerns over taste bud discomfort, discuss a treatment plan with Hinsdale Dentistry at your next exam.
What are the causes of Swollen Taste Buds and Papillae
We sat down with Abbas Anwar, MD , to chat about why swollen taste buds occur and when to speak to your doctor about them. How common are swollen taste buds? What might they look or feel like, and are they usually quick to heal?
Swollen taste buds are relatively common since there are a variety of different conditions that can cause them. They often present as swollen red or white bumps that usually appear in the center or back of the tongue and are often tender or cause a burning sensation when you eat. They are usually quick to heal without any intervention and resolve within a few days to a couple weeks.
If you notice them for more than weeks or if they are growing, you should seek medical attention. If the bumps are persistent and do not resolve within weeks or continue to enlarge then you should see you physician. If there is bleeding associated with the lesions you should definitely consider discussing them with your doctor. Significant and persistent pain, difficulty moving your tongue, loose teeth, or unintended weight loss are also reasons to get medical attention.
There are a number of reasons and ways to take care of this issue: Poor Oral Hygiene Poor oral hygiene can lead to overgrowth and infection of taste buds with bacteria and viruses.
Good oral hygiene must be practiced on a daily basis and includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouth rinses. Dry Mouth Dry mouth can also lead to overgrowth of bacteria. Staying hydrated is important. Acid Reflux Acid reflux is when acid from your stomach goes backwards up into the esophagus. Sometimes this acid can make its way all the way up to your mouth, which can cause burns on the tongue and swollen taste buds. Improving your diet by avoiding foods that can exacerbate reflux is the first step to treat this.
In addition, do not lie down after eating for at least hours. Anti-reflux medications are also available for patients that continue to have reflux despite observing these precautions. Of course, avoiding these foods would be the best step. If you already burned your tongue then using ice to help soothe it can help symptomatically, but in most cases this will resolve over the course of a few days. Very spicy foods like hot peppers or acidic foods like citrus fruits can also irritate the tongue themselves and cause them to swell.
Vitamin Deficiencies Deficiency of essential vitamins like vitamin B, lack of iron and other nutrients may cause inflamed taste buds. Transient Lingual Papillitis This describes a harmless condition that causes small bumps at the back upper surface of the tongue.
They typically resolve within a few days without any treatment. Oral Cancer Although very rare, oral cancer can sometimes present with swollen taste buds. Often this will present with a large bump that bleeds easily and is usually on the side of the tongue.
Often they will be painful and make it difficult to eat. This is more common in smokers and heavy drinkers. If you notice a bump on the side of the tongue that does not resolve within 2 weeks and is growing you should consult your doctor.
Swollen Taste Buds: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
In general for common people or patients, papillae are perceived as taste buds but a taste bud is comprised of supporting cells which are known as Sustenticular cells which help in the process of taste perception.
A Taste bud is made up of Taste pore, taste receptor cell, basal cell and afferent nerve. Taste buds papillae are not visible to the naked eye in normal healthy patient, but in case of any inflammation or infection or injury to the papillae or taste buds they become swollen and can be visible to the naked eye.
Why do I keep getting little bumps on my tongue?
They change in color in case of infection into white or swollen red in color, if infected they can become fluid filled blisters termed as pustules on the surface of the tongue. Taste buds regenerate themselves every 1 to 2 weeks and they become swollen or change in color in case of any injury or infection between this phase happens.
Let us look at the causes for taste buds or papillae on tongue to become swollen and what can be done to fix it.
Causes of Swollen Taste Buds: Taste buds are delicate and small sensory organs which are located inside the Papillae on the surface of tongue. It has multiple taste receptor cells and connected with an afferent nerve the whole set called as Sustenticular Cells Supporting cells of Taste Buds which are quite sensitive to any excess force or Heat leading to damage to these cells resulting in loss of taste perception in the particular region.
Taste perception is restored back once the cells are regenerated over a period of days. Trauma from Burns, Cuts: One of the most common cause of damage to the taste buds happens when you consume Hot or Spicy foods leading to burning of the surface of the tongue where might have observed that you cannot taste any food in that particular area for a few days. Trauma, burns, etc lead to inflammation of the tastebuds which become swollen.
Trauma from sharp teeth ends: This is also one of the common reasons for swollen taste buds and pain in the tongue due to an ulcer. Sharp restorations or teeth ends when the tooth is fractured can lead to swelling in the taste buds as they are inflamed due to repeated trauma. Acid Reflux: Many people suffer from GERD or Gastro Esophgeal Reflux Disorder which results in Acid from the stomach to come into the mouth resulting in many oral complications and one of which is injury to the taste buds.
The Stomach acids is made up of hydrochloric acid HClpotassium chloride KCland sodium chloride NaCl all of which are harmful to the delicate sensory cells — Taste buds doing reversible or irreversible damage to the cells which have to regenerate to regain function. Getting GERD under control by visiting a Gastroenterology specialist will bring swollen taste buds under control to their normal size.
Enlarged Papillae (Tongue Bumps): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Dry Mouth or Xerostomia : This is another major cause of swollen taste buds which is caused due to the decreased saliva in the oral cavity leading to dryness of the oral cavity. Foliate papillae line the sides of the tongue and in front of the circumvallate papillae. When you notice an enlarged papilla develop, it can feel very odd.
The nerve receptors on the tongue are very sensitive. Do not be alarmed.
What Are The Causes Of Inflamed Taste Buds?
Most of the time this process is not serious. The condition called transient lingual papillitis occurs when papillae become inflamed or irritated, explains a study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry. This can occur from accidentally biting your tongue when you chew, having a virus pass through your body, or normal exfoliation of the papillae cells. Certain other medical conditions can also make papillae feel different. One of these conditions is benign migratory glossitis also called geographic tongue.
In this condition, the tongue exfoliates its cells at an inconsistent rate, giving the tongue a map-like appearance that shows that the papillae have worn off and then eventually regrow, says the Mayo Clinic. Other conditions that may contribute to papillary inflammation include bacterial or fungal infectionscanker soresallergic reactions, syphilis, oral herpes simplex, cancer or autoimmune disorders.
Is Treatment for Enlarged Papillae Necessary? It is often unnecessary to seek treatment for tongue bumps unless the condition lasts longer than seven to 10 days. The best advice for any oral lesion lasting longer than seven to 10 days is for the patient to schedule an evaluation with their dental professional.