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The Causes of Swollen Taste Buds

Do you have a swollen tongue and you’re worried whether it is a disease or a bad case of infection? Don’t worry about it. It is only swollen or inflamed taste buds. There are treatment options available. And here is the main causes. In addition, we will post the article of how to get rid of the swollen taste buds on the next article. Check them out, below.

how to get rid of the swollen taste buds


Small papillae that sit on the tongue’s surface are your taste buds. They are messengers that tell your brain via nerve impulses what your food tastes like.

In the case of swollen or inflamed taste buds, the buds are fungiform in nature. In most cases, only one side of the tongue would be swollen – either back, lateral, front or the tip and sometimes the soft palate too.

Experts opine that there could be many factors that cause inflamed and swollen buds. Listed are a few:

1. Transient Lingual Papilittis

In this case, the taste buds are white and swollen. The bumps are no bigger than pimples and are painful.

Why does this condition occur?

Research shows consumption of acidic foods and fruits, processed sugary snacks and drinks, you could have transient lingual papillitis. In some cases, gastro disturbances in the body and menstruation too were known to contribute to such conditions.

2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

According to researches, STDs, HPV, yeast, Syphilis and thrush infections could be reasons enough for someone to have inflamed or swollen buds. Buds here are swollen, painful and enlarged and manifest in the oral cavity.

3. Allergic Reactions

Allergies too can cause swollen and inflamed taste buds. For example, being allergic to acidic foods or consuming them unknowingly can cause inflamed buds. Sauces, seafood, citrus foods and lemons especially are known to cause swollen taste buds. Even certain medicines that you take may cause the painful conditions apart from insect bites and bee stings. This is especially accompanied with throat swelling.

4. Deficiency Of Vitamins

Studies also show that if the body goes through a deficiency of vitamins C and B, you could have inflamed and swollen taste buds. This is because the named vitamins are known to keep the health of the oral zone in good shape, and lack of them can lead to the lack of nutrient intake. Hence a swollen tongue and enlarged taste buds are caused.

5. Hot Cup Of Tea/Coffee

While we do enjoy a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate every morning, sometimes hot beverages can cause inflamed taste buds. If the temperature of the beverage is very high when consumed, the lingual papillae are irritated. And worse still if the beverage spicy, it can lead to instant inflammation of not only the taste buds, but the lymph nodes and even your oral cavity glands too; some can lead to cancer, if ignored.

6. Smoking And Drinking

Those who drink a lot of alcohol and smoke or chew cinnamon gum can also have inflamed and swollen gums.

Such irritants are known to attack the back of oral cavity and the tongues surface and since the chemical contents in them are high, the taste buds are irate all the more. Cinnamon can burn the tongue and inflame the taste buds if consumed in large amounts.

7. Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercing can lead to inflammation and swelling, bleeding and redness too. Worse cases would see unpleasant discharge and losing the original color of the tongue. The pain is often unbearable and the taste buds are swollen to the hilt in such conditions. With tongue piercing, a tingling sensation is felt. The same tingling sensation would encapsulate the sides of the tongue and burn the buds too. The oral cavity overall suffers and thus infection sets in.

8. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer happens when the cells spread and take over the healthy cells in the mouth. This is caused especially on the tongue. One would notice blisters, sores and swelling that is painful and whitish or watery.

9. Injuries To The Tongue

Injuries to the tongue, cracked tongue, tongue with fissures or geographic tongues can have swollen taste buds. Gashes, cuts, physical burns and bites or scrapes too can make the buds irritated and swollen. The taste in the mouth would be metallic and your tongue would turn delicate. In some cases, you may lose the sense of taste temporarily too.

10. Dry Throat And Mouth

Some cases have been noted where the dry throat and mouth have been reasons enough to have swollen and inflamed taste buds. This is because the buds at the back are swollen and since there is no lubrication in the mouth, your tongue is constantly rubbing against the sides and the upper palate and hence leaving it more dry.

11. Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder and can affect the health of the taste buds and the way they function as well. Symptoms of the same include inflammation and swelling.

12. Flu

Patients suffering from sore throat and cold or flu too could have inflammation of the taste buds. Even if you have sinus issues, blocked ears, running nose, headaches and fevers, your taste buds could be inflamed.

13. Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety along with hormones running amok can be causes for irritated and swollen taste buds, since the immune system is disrupted. This makes it easier for the infections to attack the taste buds.

14. Sweet Tooth

If you have a sweet tooth, chances are you could have irritation of the tongue too. Even if you change your toothpaste or mouthwash, chances are the swelling of the taste buds could persist.

15. GERD And Acid Reflux

GERD and acid reflux is another reason for taste buds to swell. This is mostly the back of the tongue that is attacked, because severe reflux attacks just that place. It later on moves to the sides and then all over the oral zone.


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