ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean when you have bumps on your tongue that grow larger farther back on your tongue?

Question

What does it mean when you have bumps on your tongue that grow larger farther back on your tongue?

I Am not sexually active, I've never had sex, nor oral sex. And I first noticed that i had these bumbs a while after I got my braces. Could you get herpes on your tongue from just kissing? (Not french kissing, or making out)

Answer

You have asked a few questions which I will try to address separately, but let me first say that to get the most accurate answer you should make an appointment to be evaluated by a physician. They will be able to take more of a history and examine you thoroughly to tell you if there is anything that you should be concerned about. I would recommend making an appointment with either an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician, or even by starting out with your primary care physician. My first thought when you mention bumps on the back of your tongue that have been there for a long time is that you may be seeing your circumvallate papillae. You see there are multiple different kinds of taste buds (all of which are normal structures) and there are large taste buds in the configuration of a "V" along the back of your tongue that separate your 'oral tongue' from your 'base of tongue'. My guess is that since getting your braces, you were more likely to be looking in your mouth and just happened to notice your circumvallate papillae. Regarding the question about herpes, if someone had an open sore, then any exposure to that open sore (if it was on their lips) could potentially pass the virus on to you. I hope this helps but again, I recommend that you speak with an ENT.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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