What are the bumps on your tongue? Are they normal, or are they a sign that something is wrong?
This article will explore the purpose the bumps on your tongue serve. We’ll also talk about what differentiates normal, healthy tongue bumps from ones that can be a sign of problems. Finally, we’ll tell you how to best take care of your tongue as part of your oral health and hygiene routine.
What Are The Bumps On Your Tongue?
Everyone has bumps on their tongues. The tongue is a muscular organ that you use to manipulate food in your mouth, and it also helps you taste your food, which is where the bumps come into play.
The many small bumps on the surface of your tongue are known as papillae, and they give your tongue a somewhat rough texture that helps it grip food as you chew. However, some papillae are special in that they contain special chemical receptors.
These receptors, aided by saliva, sense the ingredients in your food and transmit electrical signals to the brain. These signals are then interpreted as feelings of taste and texture, which help you enjoy your food.
Can The Bumps On Your Tongue Be Abnormal?
While they’re generally not noticeable, you may see one or more enlarged bumps on your tongue. They may even be painful, sore, or appear inflamed. What does this mean? Well, there are some common reasons:
- Canker sores. These are common for most people to experience from time to time. They’re generally harmless but can be painful, making chewing and eating difficult. Canker sores can be caused by several factors such as extremely hot or acidic foods, stress and anxiety, and physical injury. Fortunately, though, they resolve independently and do not require treatment.
- Cold sores. These are often caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and are contagious. They can begin as blisters on the tongue, inner cheeks, or gums and heal within a week or two.
- Oral thrush. Caused by a fungal infection, oral thrush can result in white or reddish patches on the inside of your mouth, including your tongue. A dentist can prescribe antifungal medication that can help alleviate oral thrush.
- Tongue cancer. Although uncommon, pronounced bumps on the tongue can indicate oral cancer. It’s vital to detect bumps on the tongue early, particularly if you find them growing in size. A dentist can help diagnose and treat oral cancer.
Prevention and Conclusion
The best way to prevent bumps on your tongue is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This means brushing twice a day and using fluoride toothpaste. But if you still find yourself with bumps on your tongue that don’t heal on their own or are particularly large, it’s a good idea to contact a qualified dental professional.
With over 13 years of combined experience, Hermosa Dental uses the most advanced technology to perform safe and comfortable dental procedures for all of our patients. We’re open on weekends and offer convenient and affordable appointments. If you have any questions or concerns, we’d be happy to help you. Call us at (713) 695-3040 for our East Little York location, (832) 427-1797 for our Highway 6 location, and (281) 747-7004 for our Porter location.