White Bumps On Tongue – An Overview

White bumps on tongue are white colored and often round shaped bumps that develop on the surface of the tongue due to factors like accidental injuries, infections or other underlying conditions.

The problem may be accompanied by other symptoms like pain, tingling, burning sensation, tenderness and inflammation. Tongue discomfort caused by the irritating problem makes it difficult to speak, eat or drink.

Such tiny red/white bumps are generally referred to as “Lie Bumps”, particularly in the southern United States. Medically, the condition is known as Transient Lingual Papillitis (TLP) and it is caused by tongue trauma (rubbing or biting the tongue) or consumption of certain foods or foods with sharp edges. Normally, these bumps heal within 7-10 days.

Causes of White Bumps on Tongue

Apart from TLP, Stomatitis, Canker Sores and other viral, bacterial, fungal infections, too, may lead to white bumps on tongue. For instance, Oral Thrush resulting from fungal infection leads to white bumps or patches on the tongue accompanied by metallic taste in mouth. It is more common in infants and individuals with compromised immune system.

Chronic irritation on the tongue due to rubbing from a rough tooth or ill fitted dentures may give rise to Oral Fibroma leading to the development of a firm and smooth white bump on tongue over a period of time. Apart from tongue, Oral Fibroma can also develop on the inside of the cheeks and inside the lower lip.

A condition called Hairy Oral Leukoplakia may also cause white bumpy tongue in the form of white ridges on tongue, especially on the sides, that cannot be scraped off. Further, Oral Lichen Planus, an autoimmune inflammatory disorder characterized by the appearance of a network of raised white lines on the tongue. It tends to heal on its own.

But, what happens if you leave red bumps on tounge? Well, in minor cases, the tongue bumps tend to disappear on their own but you need to exercise certain precautions so that the condition does not aggravate.

However, adoption of simple natural cures can help reduce the discomfort and facilitate the process of healing. Negligence towards red or white tongue bumps caused by infections or other underlying conditions is not recommended.


At times, white lumps tend to develop on the back of the throat due to Tonsil Stones resulting from the accumulation sulfur-producing bacteria and debris from the sinuses and throat. The condition is usually accompanied by the feeling of something being stuck on the back of the throat. In such cases, bad breath due to white lumps on tongue also becomes a cause of concern.

Geographic Tongue, Oral Polyp, Oral Cancer etc are some other conditions that can give rise to this problem. However, bumps on the tip of the tongue usually do not indicate cancer, except when caused by untreated syphilis. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified doctor in case the problem seems persistent and non responsive to any of the treatments you use.


Treatment of white bumps on tongue usually involves the use of topical oral gels or ointments. Home remedies include the use of aloe vera juice as a mouth rinse and applying a dab of milk of magnesia on the affected area to soothe the irritation.

When dealing with bacteria bumps on tongue, you can use an antiseptic mouthwash and rinse the mouth with lukewarm saline solution. Consumption of yoghurt is highly beneficial in reducing Oral Thrush.

In addition, take a nutritious and balanced diet, carefully adhering to the needs of your body. Diet focusing on the inclusion of iron, protein, vitamin B and other essential vitamins and minerals is particularly beneficial in this regard.

Maintain healthy eating habits like having small meals at regular intervals instead of having infrequent heavy meals. Plus, try to avoid foods that your digestive system rejects because digestive disorders like Chronic Gastritis, Stomach Ulcer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Constipation and other such ailments also cause tongue bumps. Constipation, in particular, is one of the most common causes of white tongue.

In case the condition is accompanied by bad breath, several bad breath home remedies consisting of herbs like spearmint, parsley, rosemary and mouth rises etc may be used.

Oral hygiene plays an important role in causing a number of mouth and tongue related issues. Moreover, the habit of cigarette smoking also increases the risk of developing white bumps on tongue and oral health problems.


  1. Hi there,

    I never had any sexual contacts with any one in my life and i’m in good health Now i used to chew gutka and smoke cigarettes
    I have a white patch on my tongue for 1 year and 2 Months.! i remember i have taken heavy Anti Biotic (Penclin) 6-7 Injection last year. and some Anti Boitic tablets as well. Now this patch refuse to die down its spreading slowly to other parts in mouth. its for 6 Months i have stoped Gutka. and i have taken HIV test 1 year back its was -ve. please help me I’m getting in to depression due to this..

  2. laurel smith says

    Anything this author would say would be less or equivalent to a doctors advice, so I would suggest that you go to a specialist and get it checked out.

    • You can get AIDS from a woman, but only if you both have open sores. If you’re receiving oral sex with a cndoom on, you could only contract it if you had an open sore on your penis and she had an open sore in her mouth and the cndoom broke. You can only get AIDS from kissing if you’ve both got open, bleeding sores in your mouths.Contrary to popular belief, AIDS is fairly hard to catch. Even blood transfusions, which are the most surefire way to contract AIDS, will only have 9,000 infections per 10,000 exposures to an infected source. Having insertive vaginal sex without a cndoom only has an infection rate of 5 per 10,000 exposures.

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