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Bumps on the Sides of the Tongue

Bumps on the Sides of the Tongue

Painful bumps on the side of the tongue could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. This HealthHearty write-up lists out the contributing factors and treatment of tongue sores.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2018
Our tongue is a muscular organ that helps us eat and swallow food. It also helps in the articulation of speech. In healthy individuals, the tongue is pink in color. The rough texture of the tongue is attributed to the tiny bumps called papillae. At times, the tongue might become sore due to trauma or consumption of spicy food, or a food item or beverage that is very hot. Bumps could also appear on the surface, back, or side of the tongue.
Painful, white or red bumps that appear on the sides of the tongue are most likely to be caused due to constant irritation of the fungiform papillae that are scattered on the dorsal (or top) surface of the tongue.Initially, these bumps might be white. However, these become red, once they get inflamed. Some of the probable causes behind the development of these bumps are discussed below.
Contributing Factors and Measures


The tongue can become inflamed when one accidentally bites the tongue, or consumes very hot beverages or spicy food. At times, trauma could be due to cracked teeth.
The only practical solution to speed up the healing process is to cut down on the intake of spicy or acidic food. Also, make sure that you don't drink beverages or food that is scalding hot. If you have a cracked tooth that is coming in contact with the sides of the tongue, it's advisable to consult a dentist for tooth restoration.
Ill-fitting Dentures

Ill-fitting dentures can rub against the sides of the tongue, which in turn can cause lesions or bumps on the tongue. Under such circumstances, consult the dentist for making the necessary changes to the dentures.
Oral Lichen Planus

This is an inflammatory condition that causes white patches on the lining of the mouth (usually cheeks, tongue, and gums). At times, ulcers, raised bumps, or red open sores could appear on the sides of the tongue and the inner side of cheek. Practicing good oral hygiene (timely brushing, flossing) can help. Also, avoid consuming spicy food, citrus fruits, etc., as that can worsen the symptoms.
Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that is caused by the Candida fungus. It is characterized by white, raised lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. These lesions could also appear on the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils, or back of your throat. Practicing good oral hygiene and cutting down on the intake of sugar-rich food can help prevent this condition. The treatment involves the use of antifungal drugs.
Besides the aforementioned conditions, bumps on the tongue could also be caused due to a nutritional deficiency, canker sores, oral herpes, etc. Also, smoking and chewing tobacco can make one susceptible to oral cancer, which is why one must refrain from chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes. If bumps on tongue don't resolve quickly, consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.