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Red Bumps Underneath the Tongue

author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
Red Bumps Underneath the Tongue
Red bumps under the tongue may be canker sores. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Red bumps on or underneath the tongue can be alarming. At the very least, they are the result of eating too many acidic or sugary foods and at the most they could be a sign of disease. In most cases, these bumps are merely a nuisance. While they may be painful, they are likely to go away on their own within a few days. To assess your need for treatment, it's important to first understand the cause of your red tongue bumps.


Most of the time, red bumps underneath your tongue or anywhere in your mouth have probably been caused by irritation. If you've recently eaten something very sugary, salty or acidic, bumps may form in the mouth, says NetWellness.org. These bumps will be very tender to the touch and may make chewing difficult.


In some cases, a red bump under the tongue may be exostosis. This occurs when extra bone forms in the lower jaw and presses into the tender underside of the tongue. If you eat hard or crunchy foods and accidentally poke this bump, it can get irritated. These bumps may take a while to heal, says NetWellness.org, because of the constant irritation incurred through eating.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are another common reason for red bumps under or on the tongue. These bumps tend to appear one at a time and are usually the result of a virus, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, though mouth injuries, food allergies and stress may also be to blame. The red bump will likely have a yellow or white center, be very painful and take several weeks to go away.


To get rid of red bumps underneath the tongue, you need to maintain proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day. To relieve the pain from these bumps, you can also use an over-the-counter oral pain relief gel to soothe inflammation, suggests NetWellness.org. Rinsing with warm saltwater may also help speed healing.


Should the red bumps under your tongue get worse, last longer than a couple of weeks, bleed or get so painful that you can't eat, see your doctor for a thorough diagnosis to determine the exact cause. He may also prescribe a stronger oral gel to ease your suffering.

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