Dr. Joshua Bratt RVC Dentist

143 N Long Beach Rd, Suite 3, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

Existing Patients  | New Patients 

What Causes Swollen Taste Buds?

Your taste buds are your window into the wonderful world of delicious foods, flavors, and sweets. But have you ever wondered, “Why are my taste buds swollen?” Understanding the potential causes of swollen taste buds, a popped taste bud, a white taste bud that hurts, dislocated taste bud, or raised and loose taste buds, can help you find the right treatment solutions. So let’s show you how to fix swollen taste buds.

What Exactly Are Taste Buds?


Did you know taste buds are considered an organ? Yes, those small, sensitive bumps on your tongue are what allow you to taste big flavors like sour, salty, bitter, and sweet. Taste buds are also known as taste receptor cells, and while you have thousands of them on your tongue, taste cells can be sensitive to certain stimuli, and it only takes one swollen taste bud to make you pretty uncomfortable.

What Causes Swollen Taste Buds?


Do you have swollen taste buds hurting on the tip of your tongue or a swollen tastebud under your tongue? Were you sipping a hot coffee when you suddenly burned your tongue? Maybe you have an overgrown tastebud sticking out, a burst taste bud, blown tastebud, or maybe you accidentally took a bite of something extremely cold that gave you more than just goosebumps? Just like any other organ in your body, the taste buds (or papillae) on your tongue are sensitive and can be prone to irritation and infection.

If your taste buds hurt, here are some possible causes:


  • Acid reflux
  • Dry mouth
  • Burns from extreme temperature foods/drinks
  • Ingestion of spicy foods
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Infection or illness
  • Bad dental hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Acidic foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Spicy or acidic foods
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Fatty foods

How Can You Tell If You Have Taste Bud Swelling?


What Causes Swollen Taste Buds?, drbrattrvc.com


Inflamed taste buds look like small, red, round bumps on the tongue. However, aggravated taste buds tongue can appear white or contain blisters. If you are concerned about a particularly large taste bud or a long taste bud, visiting a highly reputable dentistry office might be a good idea. The doctor will take a careful look at your oral health and help you figure out what causes swollen taste buds in your mouth. A dentist will also confirm that your painful taste bud isn’t something more serious like oral cancer.

How Do You Treat Enlarged Papillae?


Inflamed, swollen taste buds typically have a good prognosis. (Taste buds medically are pretty common!)

Swollen taste bud treatment is relatively easy. Try these remedies below to treat swollen taste buds:


  • Rinse with salty water. With its natural antibacterial properties, salt is nature’s way of cleaning wounds homeopathically. Several times a day, gargling with salt water can often help clear up inflamed swollen taste buds and speed up the recovery process. If the problem persists, you can also ask your dentist if they recommend a special antibiotic rinse to help clear things up.
  • Apply ice. Ice will be your new best friend if you are looking for another natural home remedy for taste bud swelling. To give your burnt taste buds relief just suck on an ice cube to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort from the inflamed taste buds. Ice is a great fix for a swollen tongue.
  • Avoid spicy and scorching hot foods. Swollen taste buds on the tongue can be exacerbated by heavily seasoned food and extreme temperatures. Try to stay away from these types of foods until your mouth heals. Stomach acid, due to acid reflux caused by spicy food may also cause taste buds to be hurt and swollen.
  • Steer clear of brushing your tongue. While brushing your tongue is an excellent dental hygiene practice, you will want to avoid this action while you have inflamed taste buds. If you’re saying “all my taste buds are swollen,” brushing the enlarged taste bud will only make the problem worse. Brushing to hard can leave you with blood filled taste buds or bloody taste buds.
  • Stop smoking. Not only are cigarettes terrible for your overall health, but they can also further irritate an inflamed taste bud. Try to hold off smoking to help your swollen taste buds on the tongue heal. Swollen taste buds wont go away that easily if you are actively smoking. The hurt taste buds on your tongue will take significantly longer to heal. This is also a good time to consider fully quitting cigarette smoking and doing something great for your health!
  • Get sweet relief. If dry mouth is the cause of your taste bud swelling, ask your dentist if you can get a special mouth rinse and toothpaste to help alleviate some of these symptoms.
  • Diagnose swollen taste buds. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. Consult a dentist or healthcare professional who can diagnose and provide appropriate treatment for swollen taste buds.

These suggestions should help you get rid of an inflamed taste bud. Another common question is “how long does enlarged papillae last?” Well normally, and fortunately for you, they shouldn’t last longer than a couple weeks. Still, we recommend consulting your dentist for medical advice about your specific swollen taste bud treatment.

How Can Patients Prevent Inflamed Taste Buds?


What Causes Swollen Taste Buds?, drbrattrvc.com


What is the best way to stop swollen taste buds? To prevent them in the first place with good oral hygiene! Below are some tips and tricks to avoid swollen taste buds on the tongue:


  • Take the heat down. After eating some spicy food, you may notice the feeling of some angry taste buds after eating some hot peppers, or see some taste buds popping out. Turn down the temperature and spice level on your food. If you notice your taste buds swell when you eat spicy food, try to stick to more subdued flavors to help your swollen taste bud treatment. Hot temperature, spicy and acidic foods with bitter tastes like citrus fruits can cause a cluster of broken taste buds. At it’s worst, you can end up with dead taste buds and a loss of taste. Fortunately a dead taste bud is quick to heal and should take days to two weeks.
  • Drink up! Drinking lots of water will help your body naturally flush out infection and help prevent irritated taste buds that are caused by dehydration. If you have trouble drinking plain water, try adding lemon, cucumber, berries, mint, basil, or other natural flavorings to keep it interesting and encourage you to down that H20!
  • Make it naturally sweet. Honey is more than just delicious – did you know that it also has many antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation and infection? To help heal the infection, put a dab of honey on the swollen taste buds. If the irritation is more widespread, you can gargle a mixture of honey and water to help soothe your mouth. Including honey in small quantities in your diet is also a great way to introduce more antioxidants and reduce inflammation in your system.
  • Be a pro at probiotics. Did you know your gut health affects the rest of your body, helps keep everything in balance, and can prevent infection? Try taking a daily probiotic and choosing foods like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha to help keep your system healthy! Without the right protection, you are susceptible to viruses and so is your mouth.
  • Take your vitamins: Did you know that low levels of vitamins like iron and Vitamin B can occasionally cause your tongue to swell? To ensure you have sufficient levels of these two vitamins, try taking a supplement and loading up on legumes, spinach, tofu, and red meat for iron-rich food. You’ll also find high levels of vitamin B in salmon, leafy greens, eggs, and milk.
  • Take it easy: Be gentle with your mouth while you’re dealing with an injured taste bud. If you have a blistered taste bud the last thing you want to do is go biting taste buds off. It may get so uncomfortably frustrating that you run out of ideas, but the best thing you can do is take it easy and let the healing process take it’s course. If you’re wondering how to cure inflamed taste buds, the best thing you can do is be patient and give it time. A blistered taste bud is not necessarily a dying taste bud. If you have inflamed or enlarged papillae (inflamed tastebuds medical term) or injured taste buds and a sore throat, you need not worry, they will pass soon as the cells in your mouth need some time to rest and recover.

Who Can Treat A Swollen Taste Bud?


Dealing with an enlarged taste bud, or what some might refer to as an inflated taste bud, can be an uncomfortable and even painful experience. Inflamed swollen taste buds, including those that feel bursted or appear significantly enlarged (enlarged papillae), can cause discomfort. However, these conditions, including transient lingual papillitis (commonly known as lie bumps) and eruptive lingual papillitis, which are characterized by tongue bumps, are often manageable and tend to resolve on their own over time. If you’re concerned about constant swollen taste buds or if it seems like a swollen taste bud is not healing, it’s important to remember that the body naturally regenerates taste buds, even those that are damaged or appear lifted on the tongue’s surface, approximately every two weeks.

You might wonder, “Can taste buds die?” or “Can you damage your taste buds permanently?” Yes, it’s possible for taste buds to be temporarily damaged or to fall off, but they typically regenerate. Good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing damaged or aggravated taste buds. It’s a common mistake for some to attempt cutting off swollen taste buds out of frustration, but this is more harmful than beneficial and can lead to further issues, such as canker sores or an inflamed taste bud turning into a more serious condition.

Infected taste buds or an inflamed taste bud usually clear up within about a week, though sometimes they may take longer to heal. If you find yourself dealing with a stubborn taste bud, or if you notice multiple elevated taste buds or a lifted taste bud on the tongue, it’s advisable to consult your dentist. They can provide additional remedies and treatments for damaged taste buds, including those affected by conditions like transient lingual papillitis. Your dentist will also ensure that the swollen taste bud isn’t indicative of something more serious, such as taste buds being damaged to the point of falling off due to severe damage.

Moreover, if you’re experiencing constant swollen taste buds alongside other symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, it’s important to seek professional advice to rule out any underlying conditions that might be contributing to the issue.

For residents in Rockville Centre, NY, experiencing swollen taste buds or other dental discomforts, including damaged taste buds or tongue bumps, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Bratt and our caring team of dental specialists is a step towards relief. We’re experienced, thorough, and compassionate in providing dental care for the whole family, ensuring that issues like inflamed taste buds or eruptive lingual papillitis are treated with the care and attention they deserve.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dr Joshua Bratt

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Did you like our content?
Stay up to date

Related Posts