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Swollen Taste Buds

Marlene Alphonse

Swollen or inflamed taste buds can crop up from several factors. This story gives you some self-care measures to manage this condition at home, and some information on its possible causes.
Taste buds help in detecting the various flavors or taste of the food that we eat. They detect the flavor of the food, differentiate the taste like whether the food item is pungent, sweet, sour or bitter and then transmit the information to the brain. Sometimes, due to the presence of foreign bodies or pathogens, taste buds may get infected and inflame.

Treatment Options

The swelling of the taste buds may appear as small boils which may sometimes be white in color. As the infection aggravates, the taste buds may also turn redder. Never prick the swelling with a pin in order to get rid of these eruptions, as it may lead to other complications like mouth ulcers or cause other tongue infections that may take time to heal.
Here is what you can do:

# The most important treatment for curing infected taste buds is to have a clean oral health. Proper dental care is essential in order to stop any unwanted infections.

# If the cause for swelling in the taste buds is eating spicy or very hot food, then you can eat ice cream or apply ice to reduce smarting of the tongue.
# Eating yogurt is also known to soothe the inflammation of the tongue and also treat yeast infections.

# If taste buds have welled up due to an infected cut or biting, then apply glycerin on the swollen area.
# In order to cure the affected taste buds which is an outcome of fungal or thrush infections, gargling the mouth with diluted tea tree oil twice a day is an effective home remedy. It will also help to inhibit bacterial growth on the surface of the tongue, if any.
Oil pulling with sesame oil is also an effective remedy, known to cure the problem in the taste buds and other oral diseases.

# A soup preparation using ginger, garlic and pepper, consumed twice a week fights infections in the mouth and also helps keep them at bay.

What May Cause Taste Buds to Swell?

  • One of the most common reasons for the eruption of sores on the tongue, both on the surface and the underside is eating very hot food, that may irritate or burn the papillae causing swelling.
  • Having very spicy or salty food is also known to trigger swelling of the taste buds.
  • Exposure to toxins like alcohol, tobacco smoke, insecticides, etc.
  • Allergies to certain food stuffs or eating acidic foods like lemons, grapefruit, sauces.
  • Another causative factor for tongue disorder is a gastric condition called acid reflux disease.
  • Tongue or mouth ulcers due to thrush or any yeast infection can cause inflamed taste buds.
  • Certain mineral or vitamin deficiency like B complex vitamin deficiency can also result in infected taste buds.
  • Other factors are trauma caused to the tongue or taste buds by biting, infection or allergy in the stomach that may cause inflammation to the entire esophagus.
Swelling and inflammation in the taste buds can be cured once the cause is diagnosed. After following all the remedies, if you still experience irritation on the tongue, it is recommended to pay a visit to your physician, who may prescribe certain antibiotics like amoxicillin, in order to treat the infection. Antihistamines may also be recommended to combat allergens and reduce the swelling. Take care!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.