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Red Bumps Way Back on the Tongue

by
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 Way Back on the Tongue
Red bumps on the back of the tongue may be normal. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Red bumps may appear on the back of the tongue for a variety of reasons. While most reasons are not at all serious, it's a good idea to be able to identify your bumps so you can seek the appropriate lifestyle changes or treatments. It will also prepare you in the event that they are a sign of a more serious ailment that requires medical attention.

Fungiform Papillae

The tongue is naturally covered with small bumps. These bumps are called papillae and generally show up when you've experienced some sort of trauma or irritation in the mouth. eating very salty or sugary treats can aggravate your taste buds and cause these bumps to form anywhere on your tongue, says Net Wellness.

Circumvalate Papillae

When red bumps appear on the back of your tongue, they tend to be larger than other bumps on more forward areas of the tongue and are called the circumvalate papillae, according to Net Wellness. These bumps are always present in the back of the throat, look slightly red and form a V-shape that points backward. However, when you have a cold, sore throat or an infection of some sort, these bumps may be more prominent.

Other Causes

Sometimes, the red bumps on the very back of your tongue are just sores. The cause of these sores will vary, however. For instance, a few possible causes include infections, canker sores, allergies and even oral herpes. According to Merck, symmetrical bumps on both sides of the tongue are common and generally harmless, while bumps that appear on only one side, unless obviously caused by irritation, have the possibility of being cancer.

When to Seek Treatment

Even though red bumps on the back of your tongue are usually nothing to be concerned about, there are a few instances where you should seek treatment. For instance, if the bumps last more than two weeks and get bigger, you should see a doctor, says Net Wellness. Likewise, if they bleed or are so painful they interfere with normal chewing, seek help to at least get a pain-relieving gel.

Home Remedies

Most red tongue bumps are simple oral irritations. However, that doesn't mean they're pleasant to deal with. You can get rid of these bumps faster, or at least make their healing more tolerable, by buying over-the-counter oral gel to numb the bumps. Avoiding irritating substances like very hot foods, spicy foods, salty foods or very sugary foods can also help. Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water rinse several times a day and maintain proper oral hygiene to make your mouth an ideal environment for faster healing.

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