Some people have a tendency to develop these bumps quite often, but for most of them it is just a minor nuisance. Red bumps on tongue can be painful but they are rarely a sign of something serious. However, if the bumps are large and clustered, it may be the sign that something is wrong and that it is better to see a doctor.
Causes of red bumps on tongue
One of the major and most common causes of red bumps on tongue is trauma or injury. It can result from accidental biting, overzealous brushing, eating or drinking hot foods or beverages and similar factors.
Red bumps can also be caused by the consumption of acidic or spicy foods, by certain nutrient deficiencies, especially B12 deficiency, iron and folic acid deficiency, hormonal changes and even cavities.
Sometimes an allergic reaction to a certain type of food can result in red bumps on tongue. Herpes is another possible cause. Sometimes the red bumps are caused by something as simple as an irritation of the taste buds due to consumption of certain spicy, acidic, hot or bitter foods.
Worst case scenario, red bumps on tongue can be an early sign of serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, syphilis or cancer. In children, it can be a symptom of a disease called Kawasaki disease.
Treatment for red bumps on tongue
In most cases, red bumps on tongue can be alleviated with simple home remedies, such as saline solution, sage tea, chamomile tea and similar. Those remedies should be used as a mouthwash, several times a day, especially before bedtime. Some remedies should be applied topically, if possible, and those include aloe vera, baking soda paste, zinc oxide paste, clove oil, tea tree oil and milk of magnesia.
Sometimes bumps on tongue do not really require any treatment. That especially goes for bumps that are in fact irritated taste buds. Those just need some time to calm down, which usually occurs in a day or two.
However, if the bumps turn into open sores, if they are large and painful or if they simply do not go away, they may require medical evaluation because it may be a sign of something more serious.
Bumps caused by cold sores can be alleviated only in the initial stages. After they are already fully formed, only certain antiviral ointments and solutions will help.