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Why are My Taste Buds Swollen?

If you are experiencing swollen taste buds, you may be wondering what is causing the swelled sensation. Eating it can be very uncomfortable, and the condition can be difficult to treat. If you have swollen taste buds, you should consult a doctor. The cause of swollen taste buds can vary from person to person, and you can find out the exact reason for your symptoms by consulting your doctor.

One of the main causes of swollen taste buds is dehydration. Leaving ice on the tongue for a long period will reduce the swelling. Alternatively, you can try baking soda to reduce the swelling. It is important to follow a healthy diet while pregnant. If you are suffering from this condition, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. This remedy will make your taste buds look and feel more normal.

What are Taste Buds?

Taste buds are tiny organs mostly found on the tongue; there are between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds on an adult human tongue, each with 50 to 150 taste receptor cells. Taste receptor cells are in charge of relaying information about the sense of taste to the brain.

It was once thought that the tongue was split into parts responsible for tasting salty, sweet, bitter, and sour flavors. More recently, scientists discovered that taste receptors on every tongue portion can sense every type of flavor quality.

Often, swollen taste buds are caused by an underlying issue. This can result from an injury or a disease, and a doctor will diagnose the cause and prescribe treatment. To find out what is causing the swollen taste buds, consult your doctor. A physician can examine your tongue to determine if you have a problem with your tongue.

What Causes Taste Buds to Swell?

Your taste receptors might swell up at any time, apparently out of nowhere. This is generally because your immune system has been working hard to restore them after something has damaged them, such as a large drink of super-hot coffee or biting your tongue while venting to your work spouse, adds Dr. Phillips.

Taste buds, fortunately, recover quickly and completely without any intervention, usually within a few days to two weeks. But, according to Dr. Anwar, if they’re swollen for longer than that, or if there’s any related bleeding or growth, you should see your doctor.

1. You need to improve your dental hygiene.

According to Dr. Anwar, when brushing and flossing are inconsistent, germs and viruses can become too comfortable in your mouth, leading to overgrowth and illness.

Brush the upper surface of your tongue during your daily teeth cleaning and flossing to get your taste buds back on track. (This is especially necessary if you smoke or have a dry mouth.) Finish your regimen with mouthwash to give an extra layer of protection.

2. Your mouth is as dry as the Sahara.

Dry mouth isn’t simply a sign of dehydration or a side effect of some drugs (here’s looking at you, blood pressure meds)—it may also be caused by the salivary glands failing to generate enough saliva or by persistent mouth-breathing (such as while fighting a congested nose).

3. Acids.

Stomach acid travels backward and up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. “This acid can sometimes make its way into your mouth, causing burns on the tongue and inflamed taste buds,” Dr. Anwar explains. The first step in treating reflux is to avoid foods that aggravate it (think: spicy and fatty foods, coffee, chocolate, soda). Anti-reflux drugs, such as omeprazole and lansoprazole, are also available if dietary adjustments are ineffective.

4. There’s a chance you’re infected.

A viral or bacterial illness can cause taste bud swelling, which is uncommon. The most important cause is scarlet fever, an illness that can occur in persons with strep throat. The tongue gets coated and peels, along with enlarged tonsils, fever, and rash. “After that, it turns bright red, and the taste buds enlarge, giving the tongue a strawberry-like look,” Dr. Morrison explains.

Colds and flu are viral diseases that usually go away on their own. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, consult your doctor for a quick strep test to discover if you have a bacterial infection that requires medication.

5. Irritation was induced by anything extremely hot (or cold).

Temperature extremes can damage taste buds and cause swelling, although they generally heal on their own within a few days. “Avoid alcohol mouthwashes at this period, as they may make them more uncomfortable and inflamed,” advises Dr. Morrison, who also suggests drinking lots of water to keep germs at bay.

6. You always have spicy or acidic dishes on your plate.

Chemical sensitivity from spicy and acidic meals can cause inflamed, swollen taste buds and aggravate acid reflux. According to Dr. Morrison, the discomfort will subside pretty fast if the problematic item is removed from your diet. In the meanwhile, drinking milk might help relax the region.

7. You can be suffering from temporary lingual papillitis (TLP).

TLP is a very common (and absolutely innocuous) illness that produces inflamed, enlarged taste buds on the top of the tongue that look a little red or white pimple. “The specific reason is unknown,” explains Dr. Morrison, “although it might be connected to stress, hormones, or particular meals.” Within a few days, TLP normally clears up on its own.

8. Oral cancer is a possibility. However, it is improbable.

“Oral cancer can sometimes appear with enlarged taste buds, though this is quite unusual,” adds Dr. Anwar. It is caused by squamous cells that appear as a big hump on the side of the tongue that bleeds readily. It is more frequent among smokers and heavy drinkers. If you discover a non-healing ulcer or lump on your tongue that doesn’t go away after two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor.

Is it Possible that it’s an Emergency?

Although this condition is typically temporary, it can be painful for days or weeks. It is best to visit a dentist if the symptoms persist or you have a persistent infection. If you are concerned about the appearance of your taste bud, you can also try home remedies to treat the condition. The following tips can help you determine whether your taste buds are swollen and how to get rid of them.

Swollen papillae are typically not a major problem, and one suspected reason is oral cancer. However, this is a rare occurrence. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure what’s causing the swelling or if it doesn’t go away.

Oral cancer might also manifest itself in the following ways:

  • you have a mouth ache
  • a white or red patch on your tongue, gums, tonsils, or the interior of your mouth, discomfort in your mouth
  • Your tongue is numb.
  • a lump in your face, difficulty eating, swallowing or moving your jaw or tongue, a persistent painful throat
  • a bump in your neck, a loss of weight, a set of loose teeth

Other signs that a more significant condition is present include:

  • Cough with a high fever that won’t go away
  • a nagging ache that won’t go away

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Bloated Taste Buds?

TLP normally clears up on its own in a few days. Other reasons are handled according to their severity.

  • Reduce or block stomach acid with antacids, H2-receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors.
  • Allergies: Stay away from foods that make your symptoms worse.
  • Infections: Antibiotics should be used if the infection is caused by bacteria.
  • Vitamin deficiency: Take vitamin or mineral supplements to restore your normal levels.
  • Consult your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. You should always consult your doctor before using any supplements.

You may also do the following to maintain your papillae and the rest of your mouth healthy:

  • Brush twice, floss daily, and use a mouth rinse to maintain proper dental hygiene. If you follow these guidelines, bacteria will not grow on your tongue or teeth.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking discolors your teeth, dulls your sense of taste, raises your chance of gum disease, and increases your risk of oral cancer. Smoking cessation aids, medications, and counseling can all help you quit.
  • Foods like citrus fruits and chili peppers might irritate your tongue even more, so avoid them.
    Gargle with warm water and salt three times daily to keep your mouth clean.

When are Inflamed Taste Buds a Red Flag?

If your taste buds are inflamed, and the discomfort isn’t going away, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Flamed taste buds can indicate a more serious condition, such as tongue cancer. If you’re not sure what’s causing the swelling, or if it doesn’t go away on its own, we recommend looking for additional indicators of oral cancer, such as:

  • In your mouth, there exist sores that are either painful or not.
  • Pain in the mouth regularly.
  • A white or red area on the interior of your mouth, such as your tongue, gums, or anywhere else.
  • Tongue numbness is a condition in which the tongue is numb.
  • There’s a bump on the inside of my cheek.
  • Chewing, swallowing, or moving your jaw is difficult.
  • You have a bump on your neck.
  • Loose teeth.
  • A high temperature is seen.
  • A cough that won’t go away.

Foods to be Consumed When you have Swollen Taste Buds

Experts will always advise you to consume things that will help relieve the symptoms, so the general guideline is to eat what cools and promotes a calming impact on the tongue. Foods should be soft and nearly gooey and simple to lick or savor without causing discomfort to the taste senses.

Here are a few foods that may be of assistance.

1. Dairy products such as milk, soft cheese, milkshakes, and yogurt make it easy to enjoy the delicacy.

2. If you enjoy fruits, soft and meaty succulent fruits can be ingested.

  • Bananas and pickles aid in sublimating over the tongue and glide into the throat without a hitch or generating any pain.
  • Apricots, pears, peaches, and other fruits can be mashed into pulp and consumed. They include vitamins and minerals that aid in the reduction of inflammation.
  • Watermelon is also a wonderful fruit since it contains a lot of water, which helps to chill the taste and keep the mouth moist.
  • Remember that a dry mouth might make things worse.

3. At lunchtime, eat soft foods that are easy to swallow.

  • Noodles are easy to put in your mouth.
  • Additional options include mashed potatoes, gelatin-based foods, and scrambled or boiled eggs. They have an adequate supply of minerals and proteins, which help to fuel the body and maintain a robust immune system.
  • A pinch of ginger, which aids in the battle against infections and inflammation, might be a wonderful addition.

4. Desserts are fantastic to eat—the cooler, the better—to help numb the pain and inflammation, give comfort, and supply much-needed protein and sustenance, as well as vitamins that help the immune system stay strong.

5. Vegetable purees are essential; steam them and mash them into a pulp. The body receives all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which strengthen the body’s defense system and keep the immune system in tip-top shape.

6. If you want to consume meat, stick to the softest cooked meats that aren’t spiced. Make a sandwich out of them, brew them, or puree them for simple eating—your body needs the finest supply of nutrition to battle the tongue condition, and vegetables provide that.

7. Make sure you drink lots of water. Now that you have a good notion of what to consume let’s look at what not to eat. Please read this carefully, and resist temptations to confront the inflamed tongue until it heals!


A physician should be consulted if your taste buds are swollen. They will examine the size, texture, and color of your tongue and assess whether there is an underlying problem. If there are any abnormalities, a biopsy of your tongue will be needed. In the case of oral cancer, a biopsy can also be recommended. When you see a dentist, they will take a small piece of tissue from your tongue to determine whether it is cancer.

Sometimes, a swollen taste bud may be caused by a more serious condition. In some cases, it may be the result of an infection. If you suffer from acid reflux, this can also cause swollen taste buds. Severe stomach acid reflux can affect the back, sides, and entire oral zone. Your doctor will be able to determine the exact cause.