Puffed up taste receptors on the tongue
The receptors for flavor on the tongue or so-called rose buds are what we call any of the clusters of bulbous nerve endings on the tongue and in the lining of the mouth which provide the sense of taste. They cover the top of the tongue, and their role is to receive various aromas of the food we eat. When the food we eat reaches those special cells on our tongues we become able to detect whether the food we eat is sweet, piquant, acidic or bitter. This piece of information is further transferred into the brain via nerves specially intended for this purpose.
The receptors for detecting different tastes are not equally distributed over the surface of the tongue. For each type of flavor the tongue can distinguish there is a special kind of cell and receptor, and they have their specific position on the tongue surface. For instance, the receptors for sweet taste are positioned at the far front of the tongue, while buds for detecting salty food are placed on the sides of the tongue. The back of the tongue is reserved for receptors of bitterness, and sour food we detect by the buds positioned. In some cases these buds or receptors might swell, and there can be different reasons for this.
Culprits behind bud swelling
One of the more obvious reasons for getting swollen taste buds is the intake of extremely hot food. Perhaps it has happened to you before, and you have probably noticed how the surface of your tongue begins to hurt and to feel a bit puffy. Also, if you have eaten quite spiced food, your tongue may become a bit inflated. Apart from spicy food, you can expect the same reaction to food that has been excessively salted. Some substances such as tobacco, alcoholic drink or insecticide may provoke more or less intense swelling of the taste buds.
Apart from the above mentioned, do not be surprised if you get tongue puffing after having experienced ulceration of the tongue, an allergic reaction to some kind of food. If you experience bud swelling, especially if it is regular, it might be the case that you miss some vitamin or mineral in your nutrition, such as vitamin B. In case you hurt your tongue mechanically, you might get the same problem.
If you start suffering from this problem, make sure to have proper mouth hygiene, to have some yogurt or ice-cream when your tongue becomes irritated and to put on some glycerin on the wound if you have hurt your tongue.