You’ve probably experienced the discomfort of a swollen taste bud at some point in your life. Suddenly one of those tiny specks feels a lot larger, and touching it is uncomfortable. It will usually go away on its own in a few days, but the question about what caused it may linger. So, what is the reason for those pesky swollen bumps?
Causes of Swollen Taste Buds
To understand what causes swollen taste buds, you first need to know a little about the anatomy of the buds. Taste buds are found on papillae – tiny round bumps on the tongue. Inside the papillae are small projections that look like hair, which are called microvilli. The microvilli contain sensory cells that transmit taste-related messages to the brain.
There are several issues that might irritate the microvilli or the papillae. Acid reflux is a major culprit, and it involves acid rising up in the throat and burning the taste buds. Other types of burns or oral injuries can also lead to taste bud damage that causes swelling and eating very sour or spicy foods can have the same result.
Other conditions could also lead to swollen taste buds. If you fail to brush your teeth well – especially if you neglect your tongue entirely – you may be at risk for swollen taste buds. Bacterial and viral infections can lead to swelling, and dry mouth could also pose a problem. People that smoke may also find themselves at a greater risk for developing swollen taste buds.
Get Rid of Swollen Taste Buds
Fortunately, treating a swollen taste bud is relatively simple. You’ll want to brush and floss regularly, and gargle with either saltwater or a specialized mouth rinse designed for dry mouth. Talk to your doctor if you suspect that you have acid reflux.
If you have a swollen taste bud or another mouth sore that won’t heal, you need to let us check out your mouth. Call us today to set up an appointment.