Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is causing the bumps on the surface of my tongue?"
There are a bunch of little white bumps on the top of my tongue, with a few on the side as well. Why are the bumps there? Do I have some kind of disease in my mouth? Is it from not brushing my teeth enough?
If the bumps are small, not painful, and uniformly distributed over the tongue then what you are probably seeing is just the taste buds on the tongue. If you have no other symptoms, then you probably don't need to worry, but if the condition persists you may want to see your primary care doctor for more advice. Occasionally, an inflammation of the tongue, called glossitis, can make the taste buds seem more prominent and stand out. Glossitis is usually caused by a nutritional deficiency, such as a iron or B vitamin deficiency, things that your doctor can test you for. If the bumps are painful or look like sores, then it is possible that they are canker sores or sores caused by a viral infection. These are things that your doctor will be able to evaluate and consider when they examine your mouth. Finally, if you have whitish areas coating your tongue or your mouth, this might be thrush, which is an infection caused by yeast. Thrush can be treated with topical anti fungal medications, which your doctor can prescribe. I would start by setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor - they will be able to diagnose what is going on and give you advice.
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