White bumps that occur on the top, side and bottom of the tongue are normally inflamed taste buds, or papillae. This happens when too much acid from foods or a puncture to the taste bud irritates the tongue and causes a small infection. These usually go away on their own, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water two to three times daily. The warmth helps reduce swelling and pain, while the salt promotes drying of the pus that is trapped inside the taste bud.
Apply a small dab of milk of magnesia onto the bump to soothe irritation and neutralize the acid in the mouth. This prevents further damage to the taste bud.
Eat soft foods during the healing process, which lasts from three to seven days. Avoid foods and drinks that are highly acidic such as pizza, tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, and sodas. These foods and drinks can further irritate and inflame the infection while worsening the pain.
Apply a numbing gel used for teething babies to the affected area. This provides temporary pain relief, while forming a protective coating around the bump. This helps promote healing while keeping further irritation away.
Consult your physician if the bump does not heal within 10 days.