Useful Tips to Treat Inflamed Taste Buds

Your taste buds are solely responsible for signalling your brain about how food tastes. The tiny organs lined up on your tongue are able to sense different tastes.

Ever wondered how many taste buds you have? There are 10,000 total taste buds that let you enjoy the taste of your food. Not only these are in thousands, each taste buds has even more 10-50 cells to sense and connect nerve fibers to brain. The buds are present inside tiny bumps on the tongue called papillae.

So, there is a complex network of taste buds even in the tongue to help you identify what flavours you eat.

Types of Papillae

The taste buds are contained inside papillae which are further classified into three types. The types are located in different positions on the tongue and serve different purposes.

Fungiform papillae

These are the most common type papillae located on the edges of your tongue to sense hot temperatures.

They have sensory cells that do their job well. Although you may not see or touch the taste buds inside papillae, you may imagine having these at the tipnof your tongue just when you try to sense if your tea is hot enough to be sipped.

Circumvallate papillae

These are large and round in shape. Located at the base of your tongue, these papillae contain thousands of taste buds.

Foliate papillae

These papillae are present at the back of your tongue. They contain hundreds of taste buds to let you know the taste as you swallow your food.

What is an Inflamed Taste Bud?

An inflammed taste bud can be painful as they may become enlarged or swollen. Swollen taste buds cause discomfort when you eat or drink. What causes your taste buds to swell? You may have thought of having had something hot which burned

What Causes Swelling of Taste Buds?

Swollen taste buds can be a result of allergies, infection, burning, smoking, and other conditions. We will be discussing the conditions in detail to know more about the symptoms and treatment methods.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid backs up towards the mouth through the esophagus. This may cause burning sensation in the papillae sensory cells and thereby swelling of the taste buds.


Some people have sensitive taste buds which may react with the intake of certain foods or chemicals.

Burning of Mouth

The burning of tongue happens very commonly as we drink hot drinks or eat something burning hot. You will notice how the taste buds swell after being burned and cannot sense the food you eat until the swelling heals. This condition is often not serious as it heals on its own.

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections cause trouble for the body as cells do not respond well. Viruses can cause your tongue ans taste buds to swell. It is important to treat the cause as soon as possible.


Irritation can be caused when you have a sharp tooth or denture rubbing against the tongue. The irritation caused by rubbing the papillae swells them.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is very rare although it can still affect your taste buds. Any redness, swelling, lumps, or bumps on sides of tongue should not be ignored.


Smoking is injurious to health for several reasons. It causes irritation of taste buds as there are harmful chemicals contained. The reaction causes the taste buds to swell and unable to identify flavours.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can cause irritation of the tongue as they are acidic. Also, citrus fruits can cause acidity of the tongue causing it to swell.


Stress is extremely bas for your health. It can damage all your body functions and make you suffer from complications. You may have not realized this before but swollen taste buds can also be an unwanted side effect of stress.

Vitamin Deficiency

Lack of essential nutrients can cause swelling of the tongue. The nutrients may be iron and vitamin B which need to be recovered in order to heal the taste buds.

Is it a Serious Condition?

Look for the symptoms and causes of swelling so as to treat the condition. Swollen taste buds are not often a cause of concern although oral cancer can be serious. It is better to see a doctor if the symptoms do not go away.

Indicators of a serious problem include high fever, consistent pain and cough. Moreover, a lump in the neck or cheek, numb tongue, loose teeth, weight loss, and trouble swallowing are also symptoms that should not be ignored.

How are Inflamed Taste Buds Diagnosed?

A doctor will examine your tongue and look for symptoms and indicators of possible causes. The color and texture of the tongue are also taken into observation. Any lumps or bumps are looked for by touching the tongue

Swollen taste buds
Close-up image of a woman with tongue out isolated on a white surface

How to Treat Inflamed or Swollen Taste Buds?

Swollen or inflamed taste buds often heal in their own. They may not require treatment although only some conditions may not be ignored. Antacids are prescribed to prevent acid reflux as they reduce stomach acid from moving up to the esophagus.

Foods that are known to trigger allergies should be avoided. This will prevent burning, itchinh, or swelling of the taste buds. Antibiotics is the firstline treatment for bacterial infections. Moreover, lack of vitamins or minerals should be recovered through supplements. It is recommended to consult your doctor before taking any supplements to prevent any adverse reactions.

More Useful Tips for Treating Swollen Taste Buds

Oral hygiene is vital for keeping the bacteria away. Brush, floss, and rinse mouth regularly. This will block any bacteria from building up in the mouth. It is best to avoid smoking as it may gum disease and even oral cancer. Smoking is even bad for your teeth so you have every reason to kick this habit for good.

You should avoid citrus fruits and spicy foods if you have a sensitive tongue which swells often. Use a natural mouth rinse by mixing salt in warm water. It will rinse off any bacteria building up in the mouth.

Khadija Ahmad

An author at Ask Health News, Khadija has good experience in Health And Physical Education and delivers her research work to entertain readers. Her words reflect creativity and intellect as she succeeds in shaping them into interesting articles for readers. Email: khadija@askhealthnews.com

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