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Pimples on Tongue Causes, Pictures How to Get Rid of Bumps on Tongue

Pimples on tongue are usually small, soft, white, or reddish painful or painless bumps on your tongue. They can be a source of discomfort especially when chewing. Bumps on tongue occur in different shades and sizes. They often occur in shades of red, yellow, white or even black depending on the cause. They can affect the tip of your tongue, bottom of the tongue, side, back or the whole tongue surface.

Bumps on tongue

Tongue bumps can be because of allergies, STDs, cancer, viral infections or even injury. Lie bumps (transient lingual papillitis) affect the normal functions of it, such as speech, chewing, swallowing and tasting different elements on food; sweet, sour and salty.

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What are Causes of Tongue Pimples?

Pimples on tongue of different size and various shapes (depending on their cause) is a common problem affecting both adults and children of different age sets. However, it is worth noting that your tongue has normal tiny bumps called papillae. Papillae on the back of your tongue are larger than those on the front. Although lie bumps are not life threatening, if the existing ones or new bumps appear to be growing you should seek doctor review. The causes of bumps on the tongue include:

1. Allergies

Can food allergies cause pimples on tongue? Various food can easily activate allergic reactions in one immune system. Allergic reaction may cause pimples as a response of immune system trying to eject the ingested allergen through the skin. Alternatively, many are times a person may eats food that may irritate mouth papilla causing a tongue bumps.

2. Viral Infection and STD’s

Pimples on tongue can be as a result of viral infections. Herpes, cold sore and the flu are the main culprits that can cause tongue bumps. Pimples due herpes oozes clear pus while that of flu is accompanied by fever, sore throat, weakness, dry cough and fatigue.

  • Squamous papilloma associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause irregularly shaped bumps that can be treated by laser ablation or surgically. However, the no known treatment of HPV although individual symptoms can be treated.

3. Mouth ulcers

The main cause of mouth ulcer is not yet known. However, they usually appear on the tongue especially when one is stressed. Potential causes of canker sore include:

  • Viral infections
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress,
  • Food allergies
  • And nutritional deficiency

4. Tongue trauma

Tongue injuries (trauma) due to accidental causes like tongue biting, eating hard food or tongue piercing make lead to the development of pimples on tongue. Tongue injuries bruise the tongue and may cause painful pimples especially on the tip or the side of the tongue. A journal on oral surgery also acknowledges that chronic irritation to your tongue may also cause formation of lie bumps.

5. Cancer

Oral cancer may also cause some stubborn pimples that do not go away. These kind of pimples are painless but very dangerous and should be taken seriously. It is recommendable to seek doctors’ review if a tongue pimple persists for more than two weeks.

Other symptoms that might accompany pimples due to oral cancer are unexplainable mouth numbness, weight loss, difficulty chewing or swallowing and ear pain.

6. Smoking

Excessive smoking is another likely cause of mouth irritant that may formation of lie bumps. Smoking and chewing tobacco are the main causes leukoplakia.

  • Leukoplakia patches is an early sigh of oral cancer. Generally, it usually affects those with the weak immune system as result of medications or HIV/AIDs. Leukoplakia is another case of a pimple on the tongue.

7. Yeast infection

The oral candidiasis is a yeast infection that usually releases red pimples. The main cause is irritation of the taste buds. The buildup of bacteria or yeast on the tongue causes bumps on the tongue. Other accompanying symptoms include bad breath, tickling sensation, hairy appearance on tongue and metallic taste in the mouth

8. Lichen planus

Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory that affects mucous membrane of the mouth. The lesions occur on the gum, inner tissues of the lips and in the gums.

  • The lichen planus is usually caused by medication, mouth injuries, infections and allergies to dental material. This can lead to formation of pimples on the tongue.

9. Personal hygiene

The tongue as other body parts has pores. Germs found on the tongue may inhabit the unclean tongue base blocking the pores. Such may cause the formation of a painful lie bumps.

10. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, tongue pimples may occur as a result of stress, smoking, allergies, enlarged papillae, medical condition, viral infections or due to iron and vitamin deficiency.

11. Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome. It is a disease that affects the lymph nodes and mucous membranes in the mouth and the skin. The infection produces large red bumps on the back of the tongue.  Other accompanying symptoms of Kawasaki include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, cracked lips, vomiting, bloodshot eyes, joint pain and fever.

12. Natural bumps

The tongue contains natural bumps called papillae that contain the taste buds that leads to the back of the throat. Lingual tonsil or round mass of lymphatic tissue on the back of the tongue also looks like bumps. These bumps on tongue appear differently or enlarged on different conditions.

Natural bumps on tongue
  • Sinus infections may also sometimes cause enlargement of the papillae.
  • Spicy food may irritate the taste buds leading to formation of bumps on tongue.
  • In some people naturally large papillae appear large bumps like on tongue.

Other causes

There are many other causes of pimples on the tongue that include

  1. Stress syphilis
  2. Scarlet fever
  3. Traumatic fibroma
  4. and vitamin B deficiency

Types of Tongue Pimples, pictures

Pimples on your tongue may come in different types, form, shades and size or places where they appear. Most bumps on tongue are harmless while others are symptoms of serious underlying body problem.

1. White pimples on tongue

White bumps on tongue may be clustered or scattered, large or small. They may be many or just one. The white lie bumps are caused by leukoplakia, canker sores, oral thrust and lichen planus. They may also come as a result of tongue piercing, biting, dental appliances or from burning. Both adults and children’s can be affected by white bumps.

white pimple on tongue

2. Red pimples on tongue

The red lie bumps can occur in the tip, top, under, bank or side of the tongue. The main causes of red pimples on the tongue is a cold sore.

  • Other causes include inflamed taste buds, Kawasaki syndrome, scarlet fever and cankers sore among other causes.
    red lie bumps on tongue

3. Yellow pimple on the tongue

The yellowish bumps may occur on the mouth, tongue or lips due to cold sore and herpes. Generally, they are considered as an STD’s symptoms and often start as red and turns to yellow crust on drying.

4. Black pimple on tongue

Black pimples on the tongue may be caused by tongue piercing, hairy black tongue, injury, oral fibroma, trauma, hyperpigmentation and allergic reactions etc.

5. Pimples on the tip of the tongue

Bumps on the tongue tips affect many people. The bumps may be painful or painless or occur as single or multiple.

Pimple on the tip of the tongue
  • White bumps on the tip are majorly caused by tobacco smoking and excessive use of alcohol that causes irritation of the taste buds located on the tip.
  • Other common causes are injuries like tongue piercing, biting hot spicy or acidic drink and food.
  • Oral cancer, canker sores and oral thrush infections can also lead to tongue pimples in adults as well as the children. It is better to get diagnosed to know the specific cause before using other home remedies.

6. Pimples under vein of the tongue

It is normal to have purple veins under the tongue unless they are painful or swollen. However, if there is the appearance of purple spots under the tongue there is a possible problem. The possible cause of the problems includes; the terminal end of a blood vessel(normal), blood clot, injuries, smoking, infections, allergic reactions and benign innocuous lesions among others.

purple  tongue bumps under the veins
purple  tongue bumps under the veins

7. Pimples on the bottom of the tongue

Pimples underneath your tongue may be painful and alarming. The pimples under your tongue are as a result of sugary foods, acidic or even a sign of a disease. Underneath lie bumps may also go away without treatment within few days. According to red bumps are as a result of irritation caused by salty, sugary, acidic. These bumps are tender to touch and may make chewing very difficult.

  • Diseases that cause bumps under the tongue include canker sore and exostosis. Proper hygiene is recommended for the person affected with these bumps. Over the counter- oral relief gel that relieves or soothe the inflammation can also be used. In cases where the bumps last longer, bleed or get so painful consult your doctor to determine the actual cause and diagnosis.

8. Pimples on the back of the tongue

Pimples on the back of the tongue are caused by allergies, Kawasaki disease, scarlet fever, oral thrush, leukoplakia, trauma and canker sore among others. Pimples at the back of the tongue may be small, big, red or white. Oral herpes is majorly known to causes pimples on the back of the tongue.

However, it is worth noting that people have normal bumps on the back of the tongue that vary from one individual to another.

9. Pimples on side of the tongue

Common causes of bumps on the side include oral thrush, poor oral hygiene, tongue canker, irritation of ill-fitting dentures and other oral infections. White bumps on the side of the tongue may get infected, characterised by bleeding, pain, burning sensation and inflammation. Such may cause a lot of discomforts when chewing and swallowing food.

10. Pimples on tongue near throat

According to, there is always bumps at the back of the tongue near the throat that is V-shaped and points backwards. Although when you have a sore throat, cold and other infections these bumps may become more prominent.

These red bumps are called circumvallate papillae. Other naturally small natural bumps that cover the tongue (fungiform papillae). They usually come up after experiencing a trauma or irritation of the tongue. Fungiform papillae are triggered or irritated by very salty, sugary food or drinks that aggravate the taste buds.

11. Pimples on the Tongue After Eating

Transient lingual papillitis (TLP), an inflammation that look like round shaped mushroom structures that house fungiform papillae. According to the journal of oral surgery, endontology and oral pathology, there is no single cause of TLP but many factors are implicated. These factors include stress, certain foods and gastrointestinal disorders. However, some people may get bumps after eating acidic, raw vegetables and sugary foods. TLP varies from one individual to another.

How to Get Rid of Tongue Pimples

Some of the home remedies that can address the cause, relieve pain or even lead to total cure. The below remedies may also prevent the occurrence of the tongue zits. They include;

  1. Medication– over the counter medication help to relieve pain like ibuprofen or naproxen
  2. Ice or cold drink– you can use ice or cold drink temperature helps to soothe the burning, itching pain. Alternatively, drinking enough fluids also help to get rid of any fluids of your body that may have been causing the formation of these pimples on your tongue.
  3. Consuming cold and soft food and drinks– this help in reducing inflammation and other discomforts that come with tongue pimples. It helps to numb the tongue temporarily as well as preventing further damage to your tongue. They include ice cream, milk, yoghurt and other soft drinks.
  4. Avoid some foods products – avoiding certain drinks that cause irritation or pain especially the acidic foods and drinks like coffee, soda, tomatoes, citrus fruits. Other products include chilli powder, mint, cinnamon, pepper etc. refraining from the food and oral care products that trigger allergic reactions. It is also advisable to quit smoking and alcohol consumption.
  5. Good oral hygiene– maintaining good oral health help in getting rid of pimples. Use of soft bristle brush to clean teeth and tongue after taking meal and also to floss your teeth regularly
  6. Pregnancy-The best way to prevent tongue bumps during pregnancy is to ensure oral hygiene and take a balanced diet that supplies the body with all nutritional requirements.
  7. Baking powder and hydrogen peroxide– making a paste using baking powder and hydrogen peroxide and applying it on the affected area. The paste helps in dealing with bacterial infections.
  8. Water and hydrogen peroxide– applying an equal mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide on the affected part using cotton swabs three to four times daily.
  9. Salty watergargling with warm and salty water to make your tongue remains infection free. Gargling also help to reduces the pain.
  10. Gargle with aloe Vera – gargling with aloe Vera is another method to get rid of the lie bumps. Aloe Vera is a strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and contains strong anti-itching properties. This gel can also be used to get relief for heartburn, acidity and constipation.
  11. Abstinence from certain foods – avoid eating foods that are too fatty, acidic, spicy, sour or sweetened. Snacks or very hot foods may also worsen the condition leading to more painful pimple on tongue.

Treatment of Lie Bumps

Tongue pimples treatment depends on the actual cause. The best method to seek treatment is first determining the main cause. Following are treatment method that can address their respective cause of the tongue bumps:

  1. During pregnancy– if one has developed tongue pimples as a result of pregnancy, your doctor then may suggest some antibiotics treat and reduce them. Surgical removal procedure may be required in the case of aggravated tongue pimples. Radiation may be performed in cases of cancerous causes.
  2. Keep hydrated– this helps in soothing the bumps on the tongue and reduce inflammation. It is recommendable to take a lot of water daily to help relieve discomfort as well as for health benefits.
  3. Herbal supplementation– some known herbs can help relieve pain on the tongue like mint leaves, ginger etc.
  4. Digestive distress– it is possible that you may need to clear your stomach completely for the lie bumps to heal and disappear. Get some anise seeds and add a little sugar to it. Consume this mixture to clear out your digestive tract.
  5. Mint leaves – these leaves contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that guard pimples against infection as well as relieve pain. Chewing some mint leaves daily before going to bed have some importance until the condition heals.
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