Do you have swollen taste buds? What causes them and how can you get rid of it? In this article, we have explained the various causes of inflamed taste buds, symptoms and how to get rid of it instantly. It also contain some pictures that shows how a swollen taste bud looks like.

swollen taste buds

swollen taste buds, picture

What Causes Swollen Taste Buds

Before you get to know what causes taste buds to become swollen, let us start by finding out what they are.  Taste bud are tiny structures that are found on the upper surface of your tongue, esophagus, epiglottis and inner part of the cheeks

They are responsible for tasting different elements in food i.e. bitter, sweet, sour and salty. However, they cannot perform their function well when they are swollen. They may also cause some discomforts when swollen or inflamed. The main causes includes the following:

  • Allergic reactions

Different allergens found in food, medications and dental care products among others can irritate your taste buds making them to become swollen. An allergic reaction may also cause other parts of your mouth to swollen such as sides of your inner cheeks and roof of your mouth.

This condition usually emerges a couple of minutes or hours after encountering an allergen. Some people may encounter this problem after taking certain foods like grapefruits, citrus, sea food or nuts. Making some changes on your diet and dental care products can help to fix this condition.

  • Mouth infections

There are various mouth infections that can cause inflamed and swollen taste buds. This condition is common to individuals who have acquired mouth ulcers, oral thrush or yeast infection. Some of this mouth condition are also accompanied with other symptoms such as gum bleeding, inflammations, pain or swelling.

  • Hot foods and drinks

Taking foods and drinks at high temperatures might burn the taste buds and other parts of your mouth and tongue. This causes the taste buds or the whole tongue to become swollen. This condition normally happens immediately after taking hot foods and drinks.

For instance, taking a very hot tea or coffee may cause a swollen mouth and tongue. It may also cause peeling of mouth roof membranes and other parts. This condition can cause mouth inflammation or pain among other discomforts.

  • Spicy, salty and acidic foods and drinks

Spicy, salty or acidic foods can irritate the taste buds and cause them to become swollen. Irritation to the tongue may cause it to become itchy. Avoid the temptation of running your tongue against your teeth as it may worsen your condition.

  • Trauma or injury to the tongue

Trauma or injuries to the tongue may result from cuts, burns laceration or biting among others.  An injury or damage to the tongue tissues causes the taste buds to become swollen and painful. You are also supposed to be gentle while cleaning your tongue. Rough tongue cleaners may also cause tiny injuries.

  • Alcohol and tobacco smoking

A part from causing red spots on tongue, tobacco and alcohol may cause your taste buds to become swollen. Alcohol and tobacco contains strong chemicals and toxins that irritates the taste receptors. This gives a way to other infections that causes inflammation of taste buds.

  • Nutritional deficiencies

Inadequate intake of vitamin B Complex, vitamin C or folic acid can result to swollen taste buds and other mouth problems. The above vitamins are very important in maintaining a healthy oral cavity, ensure that they are included in your diet to avoid deficiencies.

  • Acid reflux condition

The acid that is regurgitated from the stomach to the mouth is too strong and it causes the taste buds to swell. It irritates the tongue that results to swelling of the taste receptors.

  • Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Most of the cancer patients suffers from mouth mucous membrane damage due to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These treatments affects all cells that are dividing rapidly and they may also affect those that are dividing normally like the taste buds.

  • Strong mouthwash products

Mouthwash and dental care products that contains strong chemicals may also be the reason as to why you are experiencing swollen taste receptors. Such products irritates or damages the mucous membrane of your mouth.

  • Depression and stress

Have you ever noticed a change in the color and size of tongue when having stress? High levels of stress or depression causes swelling of taste buds. Having a prolonged stress lowers your body immune system. This condition increases the risk of infections that may cause swelling of the taste buds.

  • Oral surgery

Having a history of oral surgery procedures such as removal of larynx can result to enlarged or swollen taste receptors as one of its side effects.

Symptoms of Swollen Taste Buds

swollen taste buds

enlarged taste buds on tongue

There are various symptoms that you may experience when your tongue is swollen. They includes the following:

  1. The tongue may have partial or total loss of taste in different elements in food, i.e. changes in the ability to taste sweet, sour, salty or bitter.
  2. A swollen tongue may also develop painful red or white sores that disappears upon healing.
  3. The color also changes from normal to either white, brown, black, brightly pink or have patches of different colors.
  4. It becomes painful, inflamed or itchy especially when eating or drinking food. It causes an urge to run the tongue over the teeth which should be avoided as it can worsen your condition.
  5. The size also changes as it may become too large due to swelling.
  6. You may also experience difficulties when moving the tongue. For instance, during chewing and swallowing food or when talking.
  7. The texture also changes.
  8. The mouth develops a dad smell as it may be difficult to perform thorough dental and tongue cleaning

The inflammation, pain or swelling can be alleviated by using some of the home remedies for swollen taste buds or over the counter treatment. However, you should visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment when the symptoms: persists for several days with no improvements, are severe and causes a lot of discomfort or when the cause of your condition is unknown.

The doctors will be able to examine your condition and perform several tests to determine the exact cause of your condition. He or she may also ask you several questions. For instance, you will be asked for how long you have had the symptoms, any treatment you have taken, whether your tongue has lost the taste or not and other more relevant questions.

Once the doctor will have performed the diagnosis and the cause of your condition is determined, he or she will recommend the type of treatment to use. You may be given prescription medicines to use until your condition improves.

Enlarged Taste Buds on Back of Tongue

Taste buds located at the back of your tongue are responsible for tasting bitterness in food. It may not be able to perform its function well when swollen. You may also experience some difficulties in chewing and swallowing food when this part of the tongue is affected. It can also be a companied with some pain, inflammation or bleeding.

It is normal to have enlarged taste buds on back of your tongue at some point in your life. It means that you may have ingested food or a substance that irritates them or an allergic reaction that triggers an inflammation and swelling.

An enlarged taste buds as a result of allergic reaction normally heals with little or no treatment. However, raised taste buds on back of tongue can also result from other conditions such as canker sores, herpes or warts and may require a serious medical treatment.

It is therefore advisable to visit your doctor to determine the exact cause of your condition. Other life threatening condition like cancer may also cause enlarged taste buds at the back of your tongue and can easily be treated when identified early.

Inflamed Taste Buds on Tip of Tongue

inflammed taste buds on tip of the tongue

inflamed taste buds on tip of the tongue

The tip of your tongue contains taste buds that are responsible for tasting sweet and salty elements in food. When this taste buds are inflamed, it may be difficult to taste properly and it may lead to loss of appetite since the food may seem tasteless.

The common causes of inflamed taste buds at the tip of your tongue includes: taking too hot food or drinks, too spicy or salty food, trauma or injury to the tongue, infections and allergic reactions among others. However, there are various precautions you can take to avoid inflammation of the taste buds, they includes:

  • Try to avoid taking too hot, salty or spicy foods or drinks. They are the major causes of swollen taste buds and other tongue problems such as inflammation, pain or bleeding.
  • Avoid taking or using substances that contains high levels of chemicals or toxins such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and strong dental care products.
  • Keep good oral dental hygiene to prevent bacterial infections that causes inflammations of taste buds.
  • Be careful when chewing food to avoid injuries that results from tongue biting.
  • Visit your doctor to identify and treat the underlying cause of your tongue problem to prevent future occurrences.

When you put the above prevention measures into practice, you will have no problem of inflamed, swollen or painful taste buds on different parts of your tongue including the tip, sides and back.

Can Sore Throat Cause Swollen Taste Buds

Having a sore throat simply means that you are suffering from upper respiratory infection which is also known as common cold. This is an infection that affects the lining of you upper breathing passage that is above your lungs.

This infection usually affects different areas at the same time such as the nose, sinus, ear, throat, windpipe, back part of tongue or the voice box. It is normally accompanied with various symptoms like headache, sneezing, vomiting, fever, running nose, swollen lymph nodes.

This infection may also affect the back part of your tongue to cause swollen or enlarged taste buds. However, it is recommended to visit your doctor for treatment. He or she may recommend to use antibiotics to treat your condition.

How to Get Rid of Swollen Taste Buds Fast, Instantly, Treatment

swollen papillae on back of tongue

swollen papillae on back of tongue

Taste buds are responsible for tasting different foods and drinks. However, it may be difficult to taste different elements in food when they are swollen. Therefore it is very important find out the best treatment that is effective on how to get rid of swollen taste buds on your tongue instantly. Some of the treatments includes the following:

  1. Gargle saline water

Gargling salt water in your mouth helps to relieve the swollen parts of your tongue as well as other discomforts. To use this treatment, you simply add one teaspoon of salt in one glass of warm water and stir well to dissolve. Gargle the solution in your mouth for at least three times a day until your condition improves.

  1. Take water to get hydrated

Low levels of water in your body or dehydration may cause sore taste buds. Keeping your body hydrated by taking at least 8 glasses of water can be a quick relieve of your condition. Hydration also helps to relieve irritation or inflammation of your taste buds.

  1. Try baking soda

Baking soda is also effective on how to get rid of inflamed taste buds fast. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that relieve swelling and irritation when applied on the affected areas. Baking soda is also effective in removing gastric acid in your mouth from regurgitated food.

It is very simple to use this remedy, you simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply it directly on the affected areas and leave it there. Repeat the procedure twice or thrice a day until your condition is healed.

  1. Use ice chips

Apply ice chips on your tongue and leave it there for some time. It helps to relive swelling, inflammation and other discomforts. You should also be careful when using the ice cubes or chips to relive a sore tongue as it may cause burning. Don’t allow them to overstay on your tongue, 2-3 minutes thrice a day are enough.

  1. Use raw honey

Honey is also an effective remedy for relieving a sore taste buds. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that works together in fighting bacterial infections as well as soothing your tongue. Using raw honey, swash it in your mouth several times a day to alleviate the swelling.

Alternatively, you can make a warm honey solution and gargle it in your mouth for 2-3 times a day. Repeat this treatment daily until your condition improves.

  1. Gargle with tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is also very effective on how to get rid of swollen taste buds on back of tongue. It also contains anti-bacterial properties that help in fighting different bacterial infection may be causing swollen taste receptors.

You simply mix few drops of this natural oil in a glass of warm water and gargle it in your mouth 2-3 times a day to relieve the swelling. You need to be careful when using this remedy to avoid ingesting it also excessive use of tea tree oil has some side effects like hallucination.

  1. Use antiseptic mouth wash

Using antiseptic mouth washes help to relieve taste buds swelling especially when caused by a bacterial infection. It also helps to fight the bacteria and hence preventing other future infections. Swish or gargle the antiseptic mouth wash and spit it off. Be careful not to swallow it. Repeat twice daily until your condition improves.

  1. Use a mixture of ginger, garlic and pepper

This three ingredients makes an effective combination that relieves sore taste buds. They work effectively especially when a bacterial infection is the underlying cause of your condition. Grind them together to make a paste and apply it directly on the swollen areas.

  1. Apply glycerin

Glycerin is effective for treating sore taste buds especially when caused by an injury or trauma. It has excellent healing properties that relive inflammation and other discomforts. Apply it directly on the affected areas.

  1. Treat the underlying cause

Swollen taste receptors can be caused by a number of factors as you read earlier. Visit your healthcare provider for diagnosing and treatment to prevent future occurrences of the same condition. Your doctor will recommend treatment that will heal your condition.

You may be required to take antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals or vitamin supplements to treat your condition. Take the medicines as directed by your doctors. Ensure that you complete your dosage even if you may start seeing improvements.

Swollen Taste Buds Pictures

When you are having sore taste buds, they can be of different colors, size and may swell on different part of your tongue. For instance, at the tip, back or sides of your tongue. They are also characterized with other symptoms such as inflammation, pain and itchy.

In this article we have provided the various pictures that will help you to understand how a swollen taste receptors or buds exactly looks like. You will also be able to see the various locations of your tongue that can get affected.

More sources:

  1. Swollen taste bud on tip of tongue:
  2. Tongue problem basics: />
  3. Inflamed taste bud causes:
  4. Tongue bumps, enlarged papillae and other problems:
  5. Sore or painful tongue:
  6. Bumps on tongue: