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"What are inflamed taste buds?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are inflamed taste buds?


I have had a strange spot on my tongue where the tongue tissue is very tender and it hurts to eat or brush my teeth. The research I did online pointed toward 'inflamed taste buds', and while there are a lot of home remedies - what IS inflamed taste buds? What causes them?


A healthy tongue is pink and painless. It is covered with numerous taste buds, also known as papillae. Sometimes these papillae can become inflamed and irritated which causes pain. The bumps can be red or white and can be quite tender. This condition is also known as transient lingual papillitis or more commonly, as "lie bumps." The condition is harmless and should resolve within a few days. The cause of inflamed taste buds is not known for sure, but most experts agree that most cases are likely caused by local accidental trauma, for example, biting your tongue. Certain foods, especially those that are acidic or overly spicy or salty, are also suspected to cause them. When your tongue is irritated it is natural to rub it against your teeth for comfort but this can male the condition worse. You can use an over the counter product such as Orabase and avoid inciting agents to speed healing. There are many other causes of a tender spot on the tongue and the only way to be sure what is the cause of your symptoms is to see a dentist or oral specialist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to see a dentist every six months as well for routine care.

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