The tongue is an essential muscular organ of the body and a marker of our overall health. The tongue is covered with the papillae and mucosa. The mucosa is the moist, pink tissue and papillae are the tiny bumps on the tongue that contain taste buds and temperature sensors. It also gives the tongue a texture. Under normal conditions, papillae are not noticeable. There are different reasons for papillae to grow for example injuries, allergies, and infections. If bumps on back of tongue remain persistent or start spreading, they need to be treated well. Also, make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in oral health.
What Are the Causes Of Bumps On Back of Tongue
Tongue bumps have various causes. Some of them are non-concerning and some of them are concerning. Here are some common causes for the bumps on the tongue written below:
The tongue is an organ of the body that swells in response to an injury. You can hurt your tongue easily and then it will look or feel bumpy. For example, you can bite your tongue by mistake or you can burn your tongue from hot liquids or foods which will cause a swollen bump for a few days. Tongue injuries are not much concerning as your tongue will be normal after a few days without any problem. But if the injury is big then see the doctor and make sure that your tongue is alright. Sometimes teeth whitening chemicals can be allergic to you.
Herpes is a common viral infection and is contagious. About 60 percent of US adults are affected by it. It spreads in various ways like through the saliva of an infected person or direct contact with the infected area. Also, infection will spread if there is any contact with the lining of the mouth and tongue of the infected person.
However, there are many people who don’t experience any symptoms during Oral herpes but few people do have symptoms. Oral herpes symptoms include cold sore blisters around the nose or mouth from time to time, blisters on the tongue or gums. If a person has a blister because of this viral infection then the blister can last for a week or more and it could be really painful.
The most common cause of sores in the mouth is due to canker sores. They are usually present inside the lips but can also appear on the tongue and tend to be red, white, or yellow. Sores feel raw and very painful. The real cause of canker sores is not quite clear but for some people, certain foods can trigger canker sores. If you are lucky enough then your canker sore will disappear itself but some sores are really stubborn and become very painful that will lead you to see the doctor.
Allergies can also be the cause of bumps on the tongue. If someone has food intolerances and allergic reactions then it may cause swelling in the tongue. Anaphylaxis is the dangerous reaction of allergies and its symptom is the immediate swelling of the whole tongue.
You will need immediate medical help if you are having the following symptoms:
- Sudden swelling of the lips, mouth, or tongue
- Developing a rash or hives
- Having any breathing difficulties
It is very rare that cancer will cause a bump on the tongue but sometimes it does. You can say a bump is cancerous if it starts growing on the side of the tongue. In the case of cancer, the bump will be hard and painless. If any bump lasts a week or more than that and does not cause much pain then you should definitely consult a doctor.
Infection is another reason that will cause swelling and pain in the mouth or tongue at the site of the infection. As everybody knows that even a healthy mouth is full of bacteria, therefore, it easily gets an infection in your mouth or in the tissues of the tongue. A sign of a serious infection is a painful bump with a fever. If you are having a painful bump with a fever then it is important for you to consult a doctor within 24 hours otherwise it can be really dangerous.
Syphilis when not treated properly then it may be a life-threatening bacterial infection. It could be contagious through direct contact with these sores during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. A bump on the tongue can be an early symptom for people with syphilis disease. If a person has a bump on the tongue and it spreads through oral sex then it means that a person has Syphilis and he has to visit the doctor.
A person with oral thrush notices rough white bumps on back of the tongue or the lips or even a sore mouth as well. Oral thrush is a yeast infection that happens in the mouth of the person. As yeast is a type of fungus that usually grows in moist, dark places, therefore, newborn babies often have these.
Different people have different symptoms of oral thrush. For example, few people have a cottony feeling in their mouth, others have a sensation of dryness, and some of the people experience cracking near the lips, or pain when they are eating something.
There are some risk factors that lead a person to have oral thrushes which are written below:
- Corticosteroids including asthma inhalers
- Conditions that have to weaken the immune system of the body. For example, HIV, organ transplantation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer
Transient Lingual Papillitis
Transient lingual papillitis which are also known as lie bumps is a temporary swelling of the tongue’s papillae. These are the small bumps that suddenly appear on the top area of the tongue. They can be very painful and may cause itching, extreme sensitivity, or even you can feel a burning sensation. As they appear suddenly, therefore, after a few days they will disappear without consulting a doctor.
Certain foods like sour candy or very acidic food can irritate the tongue and that gives you a bumpy tongue. These spots last only for a few days so you do not have to worry about that.
Signs and Symptoms of Bumps on Back of Tongue
On the back of your tongue, you usually see large and swollen bumps. These bumps on the back of the tongue have different colors; white, bright pink, or black patches. These bumps on the tongues also create few other problems that are mentioned below:
Change in Taste
As you know, a person can taste anything through the taste buds that are present on the tongue, therefore, if the inflammation has spread then you will be unable to taste things. In general cases, you will not lose your sense of taste but if there are bumps on back of tongue that are not treated properly, it will be difficult for you to distinguish between different flavors like salty, bitter, sweet, or sour. Also, in the worst cases, you may lose the total sense of taste.
Difficulty Moving Your Tongue
When there are HPV bumps on the back of the tongue, it is obviously hard to move your tongue normally. Also, a swollen tongue will impact normal speaking and swallowing which completely depends on the severity of the bumps on the tongue.
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Pain or a Burning Sensation
You can also feel the pain or a burning sensation in the problem area when you have a bump tongue. This problem is really discomforting. But some people don’t feel the pain unless they use their tongue. For example, when they eat that is the only time they feel the pain.
How Should I Treat Bumps on the Back of My Tongue?
While for some of the bumps on the tongue you need to visit a doctor, most of them can be relieved at home. Relieve Discomfort due to a tongue bump by following home remedies:
- Drink plenty of water. You can also use the straw to drink water if you find it more comfortable.
- You must rinse your mouth with warm salt water at least twice a day.
- Avoid eating acidic and spicy foods.
- You must not use any alcohol-based mouthwash as it will irritate your tongue.
- If possible get topical numbing gels or creams from the market and start using them.
- You must take OTC (over-the-counter) anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. For example, you can choose ibuprofen.
- You must avoid smoking or drinking alcohol while you have got a tongue bump.
While treating an HPV bump on the back of the tongue at home, you must keep a constant check on the size and color of the tongue bump. Consult a doctor if the tongue bump worsens.
It is important to care for your whole body which also includes your tongue. The tongue is a small part of the body and is made up of only muscles. A mucous membrane covers its surface and Papillae; the small bumps, cover the back part of the tongue. Generally, they are unnoticeable but when enlarged, they can cause pain and that happens under various conditions. Mostly, bumps on back of tongue can be cured at home. However, for severe cases, you need to consult a doctor as it really needs to be treated. For example, if the tongue bumps are because of Syphilis or Oral thrush.
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