The tongue is a fascinating organ! It serves many vital functions, including our ability to speak, pray, sing, taste, suck, swallow, press, chew, grind, and salivate. Did you know, though, that your tongue can reveal important clues about your overall health too?
Stress, injury from a bite, irritation from spicy or hot foods, viral infections, or vitamin and nutritional deficiencies can all show up on your tongue as tiny red and white bumps, spots, or patches. Sometimes these bumps could be an early indication of oral/tongue cancer, but this is relatively rare.
According to the most recent estimates given by the American Cancer Society(1), the number of Americans who are likely to be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer in the year 2019 is roughly approximated to be around 53,000.
Bumps on the tongue, however, can definitely be annoying and may sometimes even interfere with your speech and sense of taste. So, here are a few effective remedies that you can try at home to get rid of these sensitive bumps on your tongue.
Bump on Tongue: Easy Remedies
1. Saltwater Rinse
One of the quickest remedies for those painful and swollen bumps on your tongue is a simple saltwater rinse. The antimicrobial properties of salt water can clean the tongue and promote its healing.
To make a saltwater rinse, add ½ a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Take a mouthful of this rinse and swish it around your mouth for 10-15 seconds before spitting it out.
2. Baking Soda Rinse
As an alternative to saltwater rinse, you could also try the baking soda rinse. Baking soda has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria.
To make a baking soda rinse, dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in half a cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this solution for quick relief. You can also make a paste by mixing half a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of distilled water and apply directly to the sores on your tongue.
3. Milk of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia or magnesium hydroxide(2) is another effective cure for inflamed taste buds and bumps on the tongue. This remedy is generally recommended along with a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Hydrogen peroxide acts as a mild antiseptic, while milk of magnesia helps to neutralize the acids which may be irritating your tongue sores.
Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide with one part of water and rinse your mouth first. Then, using a cotton swab or Q-tip, dab milk of magnesia directly onto the affected area. You can repeat this remedy three to four times a day.
[ Read: Natural Remedies for Burnt Tongue ]
4. Good Nutrition
This is more of a preventive tip than a cure. But for a healthy tongue, you must include the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Iron deficiency is especially known to cause a swollen and sore tongue.
Include iron-rich foods such as leafy greens, spinach, lentils, seafood, fortified breakfast cereals, red meat, and poultry in your diet. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid can also speed up the healing process and, therefore, it would be advisable to include foods such as kiwi, orange, lemon, papaya, sprouting broccoli, grapefruit, etc.
In addition to this, foods such as onion, garlic, ginger, and shitake mushrooms have notable antimicrobial properties and should be consumed regularly.
|Your tongue is an extremely agile organ that produces more than 90 words per minute, using over 20 different movements.|
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been the go-to-remedy for a wide range of skin and health conditions and is unsurprisingly an excellent cure for those sensitive tongue bumps, too. It contains several helpful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can relieve pain and inflammation and accelerate healing.
How to Use Aloe Vera?
Cut a fresh aloe vera leaf lengthwise and extract the gel. You can then apply this gel directly onto the sores on your tongue. Repeat this remedy as often as required.
Honey is definitely delicious and sweet! But did you know of its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties? And it’s not just that, it possesses enhanced wound-healing properties too.
To use honey to treat tongue sores, simply dip a cotton ball or your finger in some honey and dab it on the affected area. You can repeat this up to four times a day.
[ Read: Home Remedies for Dry Mouth ]
7. Licorice Root
Licorice root is an herb that is well-renowned for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity. This herb works as a demulcent and may help to soothe painful bumps on the tongue.
Take a teaspoon of powdered licorice root and mix it with a few drops of distilled water to make a smooth paste. Then, using a cotton swab or your finger, apply this paste to the tiny red and white bumps on your tongue. Allow the paste to be on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. You may repeat this 2 to 3 times a day until the sores on your tongue have healed.
Alternatively, you can also add a tablespoon of licorice root powder to a glass of warm water and use this solution to rinse your mouth twice daily.
8. Clove Oil
Clove oil is another excellent cure for bumps on the tongue and canker sores. The oil has both antiseptic and analgesic properties and is commonly used to treat many oral problems.
Take a glass of warm water and add a few drops of clove essential oil. Rinse your mouth with this solution in the morning and evening before you sleep.
Minor tongue sores and bumps are rarely a cause for worry and will clear up on their own within a week or two. If, however, you notice persistent bumps that are unusually painful or spreading to other parts of your tongue, seek immediate medical care. A doctor may be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis and help you understand if there is an underlying issue.
1. Why does my tongue hurt?
Pain in the tongue can be the result of an injury, infection, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, abrasive ingredients in toothpaste and mouthwash, cold sores, canker sores, and in rare cases, anemia, cancer or oral herpes.
2. How long do tongue bumps last?
Small red or white bumps found on the tongue, typically called ‘lie bumps’ will go away on their own within 2 to 3 days.