The tongue is an essential body part that we can’t do without. It helps us to taste our food and speak. Its surface is covered by small bumps referred to as papillae. Every so often, you may notice these papillae are swollen or inflamed.
These small bumps on the back of the tongue may get swollen or inflamed due to injury, allergic reactions, or bacterial infections. Two types of bumps can appear on the back of your tongue; you can get white bumps or red bumps.
In the guide below you will learn what causes red or white bumps on the back of the tongue and the remedies you can apply.
Large White Bumps
White bumps on your tongue rear are quite conspicuous. You may be wondering, “Are the white bumps plaguing back of my tongue a symptom of a serious disease?” Usually, these bumps are caused by yeast or viral infections.
The bumps could be a sign of oral thrush, cankers sores, vitamin deficiencies, or an early sign of oral cancer.
The papillae on the back of your tongue are red/pink in color. However, if the bumps are more prominent and redder, it could be a sign of bacterial infection, throat infection, allergies, or herpes.
See your doctor if the bumps are persistent, growing or spreading, or making it hard to eat.
4 Major Causes of Bumps on Your Tongue
In the list below, we discuss the 4 major causes of red and white bumps on your tongue and their effective treatments.
Fever blisters or cold sores mostly cause ulcers on the tip of the tongue, but in some cases, it can cause bumps on the back of your tongue.
Cold sore bumps have a red base and appear like gray blisters. But before these blisters appear, you are likely to feel some pain, itching, or tingling in the affected areas. Experts on WebMD have stated that cold sores are a result of herpes.
⇒ Treatment: to get rid of these cold sore bumps you need Witch Hazel. A recent study found that Witch Hazel has natural antiseptic properties that heal mouth blisters fast. Gargle a mixture of warm water, a teaspoon of witch hazel, and a drop of clove oil. Use this treatment twice a day for quick results.
Almost 20% to 30% of the American population suffers from cankers sores. These blisters may appear on any part of the mouth including the back of the tongue. These bumps appear like large white blisters that have a burning or tingling sensation.
These small white bumps may appear white or yellow with a red border. Canker sores can be a result of vitamin deficiency, acidic food, smoking, medication, or stress.
⇒ Treatment: Baking soda is a home remedy that is known to treat cankers sores fast. Though it may sting a bit when you use it, baking soda will reduce the inflammation and ultimately eliminate the canker sores on the back of the tongue. Make a thick paste with warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Apply this paste twice daily.
Medics have discovered that some white or red patches on the back of the tongue could be an early sign of oral cancer. This sign is rare, but if you notice the bumps don’t heal and are continuously bleeding, you should see a doctor immediately. Other signs include
- Jaw pain
- Loose teeth
- Smelly lesions
Oral candidiasis is often as a result of Candida yeast infection. Oral thrush is characterized by large white bumps situated on the back of the tongue. Other signs of oral thrush include tonsils and bumps of your cheeks.
⇒ Treatment: some home remedies will help you combat oral thrush. Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid that effectively fights canker sores, cold sores, and oral thrush. Gargle two apple cider teaspoons, warm water and a pinch of salt three times daily.
Another effective home remedy is coconut oil. The coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that help fight Candida infections. You can also create your anti-fungal mouthwash at home. Create it by mixing cinnamon and coconut oil. Swish the mouthwash every day.
Bumps on your tongue can be painful, annoying, and stressful. You can prevent them from using your home-made mouthwash, or you can treat them by using the above treatments. But, if they bleed, produce pus, or keep recurring, you should immediately seek medical assistance from a qualified dentist.
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- Irene Belenguer-Guallar, Yolanda Jiménez-Soriano, and Ariadna Claramunt-Lozano. “Treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis. A literature review”. 2014 Apr; 6(2): e168–e174.
- “Oral health centre”. WebMD.