Why Do Some of Your Taste Buds Swell Up?
Posted on 3/10/2020 by Office - Boone DMD
|There are about 10,000 taste buds that line your tongue and are housed in tiny bumps called papillae. In each of your taste buds are somewhere between 10 and 50 sensory cells connected to nerve fibers that send messages to your brain about the flavors of your food.
Your taste buds allow you to identify the tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and meaty or savory (known as umami). Sometimes papillae become swollen or inflamed, and this can occur for several reasons.
Why Do Papillae Swell Up?When you notice an enlarged papillae, it's generally due to your tongue scraping on your teeth, triggering soreness. The nerve receptors in your taste buds are highly sensitive, so the pain can feel like it might be serious. Don't be alarmed, however.
An inflamed taste bud is usually just a temporary discomfort due to biting your tongue, a virus passing through your body, or simply the normal exfoliation of papillae cells. However, some medical conditions can contribute to swollen papillae, such as fungal or bacterial infections, allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, and herpes simplex.
How Can I Prevent or Treat Swollen Taste Buds?You can reduce injuries to your tongue by eating slowly and wearing a mouth guard when playing sports. In addition, high risk behaviors such as smoking, as well as high stress levels, can contribute to enlarged papillae. Generally, medical treatment is not necessary for inflamed taste buds. Don't hesitate to seek it, however, if any mouth sore lasts more than 7 to 10 days, as this could be a sign of something more serious.
Normally, sore, swollen bumps on your tongue are simply inflamed papillae from a physical injury to your tongue. If your mouth sore lasts more than a week, or becomes increasingly larger and more painful, don't hesitate to contact our office.