Swollen Taste Buds: Treatment And Causes of Taste Bud Swelling

How long does it take for inflamed and swollen taste buds to go away?

Swollen Taste Bud

Taste buds are small papillae present on the surface of the tongue. They are very tiny to be seen individually and they are present in large numbers on the surface of the tongue. As the name suggests, these tastes buds help in detecting the flavor and the taste of the food we eat.

Taste buds detect whether the food is sweet, pungent, bitter or sour and transmit the message through the nerve endings of facial nerve to the brain.

  • Taste buds that detect sweet taste are present on the tip of the tongue.
  • Taste buds that detect bitter taste are present on the back of the tongue.
  • Taste buds that detect salty taste are present on the sides of the tongue
  • Taste buds that detect sour taste are situated on the lateral side of the tongue.

Causes of Swollen Taste Buds

  • Mistakenly eating very hot food causes irritation and burn on the taste buds, leading to inflammation and swelling.
  • Drinking hot tea and coffee can also scald your tongue.
    It is the next most common cause for swollen and enlarged taste buds.
  • Eating spicy food is another cause of swollen taste buds.
  • Exposure to irritants like alcohol, tobacco or other chemicals like lime can cause swollen taste buds. Your taste buds may get irritated and swollen after chewing tobacco or smoking tobacco and drinking spirits. Chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes frequently can badly affect the sense of taste in the long run.
  • In acid reflux disease, the stomach acid that comes to the esophagus can travel up to the throat and tongue and irritate the taste buds. Your tongue may feel sore due to this problem.
  • Mouth ulcers, or yeast infection can also cause inflamed taste buds.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins can cause impairment in taste bud functions.
  • Taste buds may swell if you bite your tongue bite or there is any other trauma to the tongue.

Treatment of Swollen Taste Buds

  • Swollen taste buds generally heal within few days, but it is very important to know the cause of this swelling.
  • If there is a cut or a bruise on the tongue caused due to a tongue bite, apply glycerin on the surface of the tongue and then spit it out after some time instead of swallowing. Do this procedure thrice a day.
  • Prepare a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it over the inflamed taste buds. Let it remain for some time before you rinse with plain water.
  • Eating ice cream or applying ice on the tongue can ease the taste bud swelling caused due to spicy food or acidic foods or irritants.
  • Yogurt can also help in relieving the swelling of taste buds. Yogurt contains microorganisms which balance the environment of oral mucosa.
  • Put few drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water and prepare a mouthwash. Rinse your mouth or gargle with the solution twice a day to fight yeast, fungal infection or thrush.
  • Take vitamins, especially vitamin B complex, simultaneously while taking other treatment.
  • If the swelling does not subside within a few days, consult the doctor to rule out any other cause.

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