Appearance of bumps on tongue after tonsillectomy may or may not be associated with the removal of the tonsils. Scroll down to find out why one may develop such bumps on the tongue.
The tongue is a muscular organ that not only helps us taste and swallow food, but also helps in the articulation of speech. The bumpy texture of the tongue is attributed to the presence of tiny nodules called papillae. These tiny nodules lie on the top surface of the mucosa that covers the tongue. The nodules also contain the taste buds and serous glands. When we ingest foods, the receptors that lie within these taste buds send signals to the brain through the sensory nerves. These signals are then interpreted, and this is how we identify the flavor of the ingested food. Though it is the papillae that impart a bumpy texture to the tongue, at times, one could even develop sore bumps on tongue due to pathogenic oral infections. In this article, we will find out the circumstances under which one may develop bumps on tongue after tonsillectomy.
The Need for Tonsillectomy
Before I tell you whether or not one can develop bumps on tongue due to the surgical removal of tonsils, let me tell you about the function of tonsils. Palatine tonsils are two masses of lymphoid tissue, each of which are located on either side of the oropharynx (back of the throat). Both the tonsils and adenoids are part of the lymphatic system of the human body. It is believed that these lymphoid tissues protect the body from pathogens. These perform the important function of trapping the bacteria and viruses that may enter the body through the inhaled air. The disease causing agents are then destroyed by the immune cells and the antibodies that are present in these specialized structures. Since tonsils are highly exposed to the pathogens, these may sometimes get inflamed and swell up due to pathogenic infections. The inflammation of tonsils is medically referred to as tonsillitis. Though tonsillitis can resolve with the help of drug therapy, doctors may recommend tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) in case of people who suffer from frequent episodes of tonsillitis. Tonsillectomy is usually recommended when the tonsils get enlarged to such an extent, that they block the airways, and induce breathing difficulty or choking.
Can One Get Bumps on Tongue After the Removal of Tonsils?
Does tonsillectomy make one susceptible to infections? Is getting tongue bumps after tonsil removal just a coincidence or is there a link between tonsillectomy and development of tongue bumps? Well, as is the case with any surgery, the possibility of one suffering from complications such as bleeding or pathogenic infections, cannot be ruled out. While swelling or soreness of tongue is not uncommon, some people may develop bumps on tongue after getting tonsils removed. This could be attributed to an infection. Since the tonsils are believed to help in strengthening one’s defenses against the pathogens, post tonsillectomy, when one is still recovering, one is at a greater risk of suffering from infections. The possibility of one developing an infection is greater, if one doesn’t follow the after care measures or the guidelines given by the doctors. Generally, doctors prescribe antibiotics after tonsillectomy, and it is extremely essential to complete the course of antibiotics.
Bumps on tongue could also be caused due to oral thrush. This infection is caused by Candida albicans, a fungus that affects the mucus membranes of the oral cavity. Oral thrush is characterized by the formation of white lesions in the mouth and tongue. Dryness of mouth and lack of oral hygiene may make one susceptible to this infection. Right after the tonsillectomy procedure, one may face trouble in ingesting foods and may avoid drinking water or having foods due to postoperative pain. This can cause dry mouth. Since dryness of mouth can make one susceptible to this infection, one must therefore drink adequate amounts of water. Since excessive intake of sugar rich foods can also put one at an increased risk of developing oral thrush, one must cut down on intake of such foods. Besides these medical conditions, bumps on tongue could also occur due to nutritional deficiencies.
One may even develop bumps on tongue that hurt in the event of trauma to the tongue. Trauma could occur as a result of consuming hot or spicy foods. Drinking hot beverages can slow down the recovery process, and may also cause trauma to mucus membranes in the oral cavity. Having rough textured foods or any food item with pointy edges can also cause such bumps. So it would be best to have bland food, and that too in a pureed form after this surgery. Painful bumps on tongue could develop if one consumes foods that one may be allergic to. The tongue may also swell up on having such foods. If one consumes any food item that the immune system perceives as a foreign invader, it activates mast cells, which in turn, release chemicals called histamines. The development of tongue bumps and swelling is actually caused due to release of histamines. Such a reaction could also occur due to use of certain drugs.
Tonsillectomy in itself, is not really the reason behind the development of bumps on tongue. Post surgery, one doesn’t have tonsils to trap the pathogens and one’s defenses are somewhat weak. Thus, one may be prone to developing bumps on tongue after tonsillectomy. One must therefore, take all possible precautions to prevent an infection. One also needs to pay attention to oral hygiene, and must follow the dietary guidelines. Though it is normal to experience symptoms such as sore throat, tongue swelling and pain after tonsillectomy, if these symptoms don’t resolve soon, it would be best to consult a doctor.