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"I have white bumps on both sides of the tongue, what should I do?"

ZocdocAnswersI have white bumps on both sides of the tongue, what should I do?


I have white bumps along both sides of the tongue. They have been there for 5 days. How do I get rid of them? Is it serious? They sometimes "itch." They cause bad breath.


I am sorry to hear that you have white bumps on the sides of your tongue that have been present for about 5 days, and you are worried about what might be going on. I am happy to give you my initial thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately to get the best answer, you should make an appointment to see an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician that can evaluate you and take more of a history. They are well suited to diagnose and manage different oral pathologies, and they will be able to tell you if you have any concerning findings on your physician exam. White bumps on the tongue can have many different etiologies. They can range from infectious (such as thrush, which is a fungal infection of the tongue and mucous membranes), to traumatic (such as bite trauma), to neoplastic. If the bumps are on the lateral-most parts of your tongue on both sides along where your teeth come together, then it would make me think that it could be from bite trauma. There are also neoplastic (meaning tumors and cancers) processes that can start as whitish plaques on the tongue (called leukoplakia). This is why it would be important to get evaluated by an ENT.

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