Bumps Under Tongue

Bumps under tongue may be a symptom of an underlying condition or it can arise due to varied causes ranging from intake of spicy food, to medication side effects, to fungal infections of the oral cavity, to burning tongue syndrome.

The tongue helps detect taste of food and also plays an important role in talking and chewing and swallowing food. It is directly exposed to the environmental elements and thus very vulnerable to different bumps-causing infections. Most of these bumps under tongue are mild and fade away on their own. However, if they persist for more than 4 to 5 days then the underlying cause may be more serious, such as cancer. In such cases, patients need to immediately consult a doctor.

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Causes and Treatment of bumps under tongue

Some of the common causes and relative treatments of bumps under tongue are listed below:

 Cuisines: Intake of very acidic, salty, sugary, or spicy foods can cause sore bumps under tongue. They can also form due to intake of very hot water or food. These types of bumps are usually tender and red. Such bumps may cause a lot of pain, but usually disappear on their own.

Tongue injury: Sore bumps under tongue can arise due to trauma, including accidental biting when eating. Such bumps can cause pain and redness, but typically vanish without treatment.

Exostosis: It is a condition characterized by the development of an additional bone in the lower jaw, which then exerts pressure on the delicate bottom of the tongue, eventually causing reddish bumps under tongue.Eating crunchy and hard edibles can brush against such bumps and result in irritation. The bumps do heal on their own, but healing can take some time because of continuous eating and subsequent irritation.

Canker sores: It is one of the most common causes of white bumps under tongue and in the oral cavity. Also called mouth ulcers, canker sores typically occur due to infection by a virus, which in turn can arise due to proliferation of bacteria and other kinds of viruses in the body.A severe case of oral thrush can also result in canker sores because thrush acts as a catalyst to attack by viruses and bacteria. Other uncommon causes of canker sores under tongue include immunity disorders, vitamin and other nutrients deficiencies, hereditary disorders, and allergic reactions.

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Canker sores can be treated with oral medications and application of creams on the infected areas. Additionally, thrush infections can be treated via home remedies. Eating yogurt on a daily basis as well as application of yogurt on the top and bottom part of the tongue can help eliminate thrush. Patients with nutrient deficiencies in their diet may change the diet and/or opt for supplements to prevent further instances of canker sores/bumps under tongue.

Mucocele growth: A mucocele growth refers to a saliva-filled whitish air pouch located below the tongue. It can develop due to any kind of break or leak in the salivary glands. The leaked saliva accumulates in the mucocele sac-like bumps, eventually causing pain and discomfort.

The immune system of the body typically corrects this condition on its own. However, it may occasionally be unable to remedy it because of constant saliva leakage. In such instances, doctors generally perform a surgery to repair the split/tear in the salivary glands.

Body heat: Excessive body heat can cause the formation of painful, pus-filled heat boils on the body. Similarly, it can also cause the development of whitish, painful bumps under tongue.

Bumps under tongue that arise due to excess body heat can be resolved by lowering the body heat. Body heat can be reduced by drinking lots of water and eating onions.

Oral lichen planus: It is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the oral mucus lining and causes bumps under tongue. The disease can be caused due to varied reasons such as allergic reactions to foods and other substances, infection by hepatitis B or C, arthritis, flu vaccines, some heart disorders, hypertension, and even unusual habits like tongue or cheeks chewing/biting.

Treating the underlying causes can cure oral lichen planus. Daily brushing, use of a mouthwash to kill germs, and good oral hygiene practices can help prevent the condition. Smoking can aggravate the pain and also cause pus to form in the bumps under tongue. Hence, avoid smoking. Also, abstain from chewing on the tongue or cheeks.

Leukoplakia: It is caused due to excessive use of betel leaves and chewing tobacco. The tongue and mucous membranes get irritated, ultimately resulting in formation of bumps under tongue. Avoiding chewing tobacco/betel leaves and medications can help find relief.

Cancer: It is another cause of bumps under tongue which can prove to be fatal. Like all cancers, it is treated via chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.

Since bumps under tongue can be a symptom of cancer, it is vital for all patients to seek immediate medical attention to rule out the possibility of cancer. After diagnosis, the doctor will recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

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