What Causes Swollen Taste Buds

What causes swollen taste bud?

The reason why your tongue gets swollen is because of the swelling of the tissues around it. These are called taste papillae or taste buds. They are located at the back of your mouth and they produce chemicals which give food its flavour. When these cells become inflamed, they swell up and cause pain when touched. You may have experienced this sensation when eating something bitter, salty or sour. Your tongue becomes red and painful after eating something which contains sugar. This condition is known as tartar. Other conditions such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and even cancer can cause similar symptoms.

How do I know if my tongue is inflamed?

You will experience swelling when you eat certain foods containing sugars or other sweeteners like honey, syrups or fruit juices. If you notice any swelling, then it means that there is inflammation in your tongue. You can check whether the problem is caused by bacteria or viruses. To diagnose them, you need to take some swabs from inside and outside of your mouth. Then you can get samples of saliva and blood to test for bacteria and virus.

How do I treat swollen tongue?

The causes of swollen tongue are bacteria or viruses. You can reduce the swelling by avoiding the food that causes allergic reactions. Eating a balanced diet will also help you in getting rid of the swelling quickly. If the problem has been caused by a specific food, then you should avoid eating it entirely. When you eat something that contains an allergen, your body will start to react immediately because of the proteins that it contains. You may even notice some itching or rashes on other parts of the body. This may be caused by the food that you have eaten or by some medicine that you have taken. These reactions can be life-threatening and you should seek medical treatment immediately.

What can I do to avoid swollen tongue?

There are several things that you should avoid to prevent swollen tongue from occurring. You should stop taking medicines that cause allergic reactions and talk to your doctor about them. If you suffer from chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, you should go for regular checkups. Swelling is one of the symptoms of this condition and if you catch it in time, you can reverse its effects. You should also avoid taking medicines that contain allergens. You should also avoid eating food that contains allergens and always read the labels on food before you buy them.

How do I repair damaged taste buds?

When your tongue swells after eating something, it can cause damage to the taste buds. These small structures have a very small area where they are located and if this area gets damaged, it can cause problems with tasting food. To repair the damage, you can take supplements or eat healthy foods that are rich in proteins. These will stimulate the growth of new cells in your tongue and replace those that have been damaged. You can also use natural remedies such as aloe vera which has antioxidants, this will help to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Another alternative is taking zinc supplements, this mineral stimulates the production of white blood cells and fights off bacteria.

How long does swollen tongue last?

The symptoms of swollen tongue can be eliminated by identifying and eliminating the cause. If you do not treat the problem, then it may last for several days or even weeks. You should see a doctor if you cannot find a solution on your own within a week.

Home remedies

If you notice any swelling in your tongue, you can try the following home remedies to reduce the swelling:

Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and other allergens from your body.

Gargle with warm salt water to soothe the affected area and remove dead cells.

Eat food that is rich in anti-inflammatories such as cherries, berries, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes and salmon.

Try chewing on slices of ginger to reduce inflammation. You can also add ginger to your meals and drinks for better results.

Always keep your immune system strong by getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water and exercising regularly.

Take apple cider vinegar which has anti-inflammatory properties to relieve swelling and soothe the affected area.

Add some chili powder in your food, this provides a mild numbing effect that can ease the pain and discomfort of a swollen tongue.

Avoid eating food that contains allergens such as dairy, wheat, peanuts or seafood for some time to determine the cause.

Raise your head while sleeping to prevent further swelling of the tongue.

Seek medical attention if the problem persists for more than a week.


If you have swelling in your tongue, avoid taking the following medications which can worsen the condition:

Don’t take anti allergic medicines such as Benadryl and Claritin since they can reduce saliva production and can cause dry mouth.

Tylenol and aspirin can also reduce saliva and should be taken only when necessary.

Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS can cause severe irritation of the mucus membranes especially if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners.

If you have an injury in your mouth, avoid taking acetaminophen since it can hinder the healing process.

When should I see a doctor?

Seek emergency medical help if you have any signs of breathing difficulty due to swelling in your tongue such as shallow or irregular breathing, noisy breathing or slow breathing.

If the swelling is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, pus coming out of blisters or sores, painful swallowing or a hoarse voice, see a doctor.

Always see a doctor if the swelling persists for more than a week.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and give a physical examination to determine the cause of the swelling. You may also be referred to a specialist such as an allergist or an ear, nose and throat doctor. Your doctor may also take a small tissue sample from the affected area to examine it under a microscope.

How is it treated?

Treatment for swollen tongue depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Treating the infection with antibiotics is the first step. Your doctor may put you on a course of steroids or immunosuppressants to reduce swelling and control the autoimmune reaction.

Can it be prevented?

You can reduce your chances of getting swollen tongue by practicing good hygiene and keeping your immune system strong. Stay away from people who are sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid eating spoiled food. You should also eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables.

Sources & references used in this article:

Why Does My Mouth Taste Salty? by C Sebold – emedihealth.com

Eosinophilic granuloma of bone: Its relationship to Hand-Schüller-Christian and letterer-Siwe’s diseases, with emphasis upon oral symptoms and findings by EL Sleeper – Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, 1951 – oooojournal.net

Membrane properties of two types of basal cells in Necturus taste buds by RJ Delay, A Mackay-Sim, SD Roper – Journal of Neuroscience, 1994 – Soc Neuroscience

Was it Something You Ate?: Food Intolerance: what Causes it and how to Avoid it by J Emsley, P Fell – 2001 – books.google.com

Histogenesis of the oropharyngeal cavity taste buds and the relevant nerves and brain centers in substrate-brooding and mouth-brooding cichlid fish (Cichlidae … by L Fishelson – Anatomy and embryology, 2005 – Springer

Subgemmal neurogenous plaque associated with burning tongue: report of two cases and review of the literature by LA Gueiros, JE Leon, MA Lopes, OP de Almeida… – International journal of …, 2008 – Elsevier

What is property?: An inquiry into the principle of right and of government by PJ Proudhon – 1876 – books.google.com