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Lone Star Dental Center

It’s pretty easy to notice when there’s something odd or unusual about your tongue. You might notice the appearance of a white bump on your tongue out of the blue, and that can be worrying. This is particularly true if the white bump happens to hurt or make you uncomfortable. So what’s going on?
In this article, we’ll talk about how a white bump on your tongue can happen and how you can treat it properly.

What Causes A White Bump On The Tongue?

Your tongue contains lots of tiny bumps known as papillae. Their job is to provide friction to allow your tongue to manipulate food in your mouth, as well as to send signals for touch and taste to the brain.

Normally, a healthy tongue has a relatively consistent texture and appearance. However, some of these papillae can become inflamed or develop sores or lesions, giving the appearance of a white bump on the tongue.

The most likely cause for a white bump is a canker sore. They’re small, red, white, or yellowish bumps that can be quite painful. You can’t remove canker sores by picking or scraping at them, and they can seem to come out of nowhere, but stress, allergic reactions, trauma, and tobacco use make you more likely to get them.

Another possible cause is a condition known as transient lingual papillitis, which means that the papillae are inflamed and irritated.

Treatment for a White Bump On The Tongue

Fortunately, canker sores generally subside within a few days to weeks, so no specific treatment is necessary. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow that can help:

  • Avoid acidic, spicy, or hot foods. An irritated or inflamed tongue needs time to heal, so avoiding these foods and beverages may speed up recovery.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco have proven negative effects on your oral health.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque that could increase your chances of infection. Remember to stay gentle when brushing your tongue so as not to exacerbate the irritation.
  • Use over-the-counter pain medication. Anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine medication can help alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes from the sore.
  • Try to de-stress. Since stress can cause several issues, including canker sores, taking time to relax can be helpful. Practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques, going out for a walk, or doing an activity you enjoy are all great ways to de-stress.

Conclusion: When Should You See A Doctor?

It’s common for people to develop canker sores infrequently, and for them to subside within a week or so. They’re not harmful on their own, but their continued presence may suggest there’s something more involved happening. That’s why it’s wise to see a qualified dentist. They can diagnose a possible underlying medical condition and perform an oral exam to see what treatment is best.

Lonestar Dental Center is your complete oral healthcare destination for various dental procedures and comprehensive exams. We provide excellent service from the very beginning of your time with us in Humble, TX. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (281) 233-0333.