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What It Means if You Have Bumps at the Back of Your Tongue 01 Sep 2022
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Published on: 01 September, 2022
What It Means if You Have Bumps at the Back of Your Tongue

Have you looked in the mirror recently and noticed bumps on your tongue? The odds are these are your taste buds or the papillae between them—these are regular parts of your anatomy and nothing to stress about. If, however, these bumps are painful or feel larger than they usually do, it could be due to the following reasons, and you might want to schedule an oral dental check-up.

Canker Sores and Cold Sores

Most tongue bumps are annoying but harmless canker sores, mouth ulcers, or fever blisters. The latter is contagious, so you’ll want to avoid smooching anyone until your cold sores heal, usually around ten days after they appear. Antivirals can speed up the process.


Ever bite your tongue accidentally? Evidence of this mishap often appears as a bump that usually heals within three days. Too-hot beverages or food straight out of the oven can also cause trauma and result in inflammation and a lumpy tongue. Spicy foods lead to lingual papillitis too.

Dry Mouths and Scalloped Tongues

Are you a nocturnal mouth breather? You’re not alone, and your nighttime breathing may be causing dryness-induced taste bud inflammation. The solution? Stay hydrated, preferably with H2O. Do you know what has a similar effect to dehydration? Smoking. Lighting up can cause taste bud infections and leukoplakia. Bumps on the sides of your tongue are linked to another sleep-related issue, sleep apnea. 


The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause tongue warts, and those white bumps at the back of your tongue could be down to syphilis. Sexually transmitted infections are much more common than you’d imagine. HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer, so don’t hesitate to raise the matter with your physician or dentist. Healthcare professionals deal with these conditions frequently.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush begins with white bumps that become patches you can scrape off. Antifungals take care of yeast infections, and your dentist or doctor can prescribe the necessary medication. If you’re immunocompromised, quick treatment is essential to prevent the spread of the infection.

Tongue Cancer

Although rare, tongue cancer is possible if you have stubborn bumps on your tongue for more than two weeks. These lumps will bleed easily, and you might also notice white or red patches. Your dentist or doctor will arrange for a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis. 

Divine Dental in North Vancouver Can Assist

Tongue bumps crop up for various reasons, including but not limited to those mentioned above. Experienced medical professionals know how to hone in on the problem. At Divine Dental, our dental clinic in lower Lonsdale, you can expect to receive caring treatment of the highest standard. Book an appointment today for peace of mind.