Oral care

Bump on tip of tongue: 15 Causes, 7 Symptoms, Remedies

Every one grows pimples, acne, bumps, blisters and similar skin problems at some point in time in their life. Pimples or acne bumps on the face looks unappealing. It is not an easy task to get the clear skin. While the bumps on the face are difficult to handle, think about a bump on tip of tongue.

A pimple or bump on tip of tongue occurs for many reasons. It is also known as lie bump. In medical terms, painful bump on the tongue is known as ‘transient lingual papillitis.’ There is an interesting story behind the term lie bumps. In olden days, people believe that when someone lies, they get bumps on tip of the tongue.

The tiny bumps appear as white, red, or pink bumps on the tip of the tongue. The cause of the bumps largely influences the color of the bumps.

The painful bump on the tongue causes a lot of irritation and inflammation. The tip is the part of the tongue that holds the taste buds.

A tongue is an indicator of the health. Each part of the tongue indicates a connection with an internal organ. So, development of a bump on tip of tongue indicates a problem in your gut or any internal organs.

The bumps on the tongue tip occur very commonly in adults and children. The good thing about the bump on tip of tongue is, it goes away naturally in 3 to 5 days without any treatment.

Different color bumps indicate different causes:

bump on tip of tongue
Bump on tip of tongue
Image source: healthline.com

White Bumps – White bumps generally develop on all parts of the tongue. It appears like clusters on the tongue surface. Most causes of the bump on tip of tongue cause white bumps from canker sores to fungal infection.

Red Bumps – Cold sore is the major cause of the red bumps. Red bumps appear significant and also makes the tongue swollen.

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Yellow Bumps – It is a typical indication of the viral infection namely oral herpes. It affects the whole mouth and causes severe pain and irritation.

Black Bumps – Severe allergic action, bacterial buildup and a warning sign of cancer causes black bumps.

Let us look at few of the causes, symptoms, and remedies of the lie bumps.

Causes of the bump on tip of tongue:

Food allergy:

This is the major cause of the painful bump on tip of tongue. Mild food allergy affects the tongue as an indication that you should not eat that specific food. Generally, food allergy throws up as an immune response in form of the bumps.

Other allergic reaction:

More than food allergy, intake of certain medications, and cosmetics (on lips) also cause the bump on tip of tongue.

Injury on the tongue:

It commonly happens when you accidentally bite your tongue while eating or wearing any dental brace. Any injury bruises your skin result with tiny bumps on the tongue. Most of the bumps caused by injury occur on the tip and either side of the tongue.

Viral Infection:

Viral infections manifest through different forms in your body. It causes a white bump on tip of tongue. Common viral infections that affect your mouth including oral herpes, mouth sores, or cold sores cause the painful bumps.

When you get flu or cold symptoms due to viral infection, it causes a white bump on tip of tongue, which may ooze out the fluid.

Fever and Cold (other than viral infection):

Sometimes, you may suffer from fever and flu-like symptoms not caused by viral infection. In most cases, when the fever is moderate to intense, you develop tiny bumps on tip and side surface of the tongue.


Called as the sexually transmitted diseases or infections, one of the symptoms include sores and bumps on your tongue.

Oral Thrush/Fungal Infection:

Candida is a common fungal infection. It affects the tongue and results with oral candida.

When your taste buds get irritated, it develops a red bump on tip of tongue.

It is easy to identify whether oral thrush causes the tip of the tongue. The bumps not only appear on tip of the tongue, but also on sides, and back of the tongue.

Canker Sores:

It is nothing but mouth ulcer. Mouth ulcers form tiny lesions on the base of the gums. Sometimes it also grows as tiny bumps on tip of the tongue. The major trigger of mouth ulcer includes nutritional deficiency, stress, hormonal changes, and viral infection.

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Kawasaki Disease:

It is called a lymph node syndrome. It affects the whole tongue. It results with large red bumps on the tongue on all parts. This is a severe condition that not only affects the outer layer of the tongue, but also the mucous membranes in your month and the lymph nodes.


It forms a white patchy tongue or white bumps on tip of tongue and inside the cheeks. Tobacco is the major cause of leukoplakia.

It affects the people with the compromised immune system. In rare cases, leukoplakia is a warning sign of oral cancer.

Bacterial Infection:

Bacterial buildup or infection causes black tongue. The tongue develops tiny black spots and leads to discoloration of the tongue.

However, bumps are not the only symptom of the bacterial infection. It also has other symptoms like bad breath, tickling sensation in the mouth, metallic taste, and hairy appearance in your tongue.

Spicy Foods:

Food allergy is different from eating spicy foods. If you love to eat spicy foods and even eat it regularly, sometimes as immunity response, you may develop a tiny bump on tip of tongue.

Digestive problems:

As stated above, all internal issues show up in the tongue. When you suffer from digestive problems, it manifests as bumps on the tongue. Some of the problems include,

  • Acid reflex
  • Poor appetite
  • Gastritis
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive eating
Eating/drinking too hot:

As simple as that. When you eat or drink anything very hot, it burns your tongue. Blisters or bumps immediately forms on the tongue.

Oral Cancer:

Needless to say, any abnormality in your tongue may be an indication of oral cancer.

Symptoms of the bump on tip of tongue:

  • Swollen tongue
  • White or red bumps (it appears without pain)
  • Constant irritation and pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing, eating, and drinking
  • Itchiness and redness of the tongue
  • Increase in pain and irritation while eating
  • Tingly feeling

Remedies for the bump on tip of tongue:

In most cases, a lie bump goes away on its own without any treatment in 3 to 5 days. To enhance the recovery process, you can try the following:

  • Apply ghee on the bumps to control the irritation
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water
  • Avoid spicy, salty, and acidic foods
  • Use mouthwash to clean up the bacteria
  • Apply OTC topical cream
  • Eat easily digestible foods
  • Avoid excessively hot or cold foods
  • Ensure to follow proper oral hygiene
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You can try few of these remedies at home to heal the bumps.

Avoid these foods:

Stay away from these foods to control the outgrowth of the bumps on tip of tongue.

  • Allergy triggering foods like dairy, fish, nuts, and seafood. As stated above, go with a simple diet that is easily digestible. Sometimes you should avoid taking citrus fruits too. When you feel irritation after eating or drinking certain foods, just cut-down the intake.
  • Hydrogenated and Transfat also triggers bump on tip of tongue. Avoid the solid fats, saturated foods, deep fried foods, and packaged foods. To name a few, margarine, chips, ready to eat foods, fast foods etc.
  • Stay hydrated and drink clear liquids (Fresh juices). Stay away from drinking sodas and colas. Replace coffee and tea with herbal tea. Herbs have healing power.

Apart from Stay hydrated and drink clear liquids (Fresh juices)

Consume these foods:

Include these foods to reduce the pain and bumps.

  • Garlic – An anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial spice. It is a powerful detox and clears away all types of infection. It also cleanses your stomach and boosts your digestive system. You can eat raw garlic. Sautee in ghee or boil in milk and consume it.
  • Ginger – An instant aid to ease away most of the stomach problems. When your gut heals, it shows up in your tongue. You can warm drink ginger tea.
  • Probiotics – Rich in friendly bacteria, probiotics improve your gut health. It also treats oral thrush and keeps the pimples on tongue at bay. Kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, etc. are some of the probiotic-rich foods.
  • Herbal broths, teas, and soups – Periodic consumption of herbal infused warm liquid foods improves your immunity, strengthen your gut and clears the infection. It eventually relieves the tongue bumps.

Too much irritation, pain, and redness or swelling of the tongue needs medical attention. It can be a sign of an ulcer or chronic gastritis. If you do not find an improvement after one week or if you experience additional symptoms, visit a doctor. When you developed bumps due to viral infection, you may need antibiotics or shots to get rid of the infection.

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