Typically people have 2,000-8,000 taste buds in their mouths and with that many, it’s bound to happen for one or two to get unruly and become an inflamed taste bud. Obviously taste buds are made for tasting with the buds on the tip of our tongue being able to palate sweet, towards the back is bitter, the sides, salty and lateral is sour.
When a taste bud goes out of control and becomes white and painful, it is just basically a taste bud that gets inflamed and swollen. Most of the time it happens on the tip of your tongue. It’s not known for sure what causes this, but experts feel that it occurs from eating acidic, spicy, and salty foods or from trauma to the tongue. If you have a habit of rubbing your tongue on your teeth or your retainer for example, it may happen. Some say that they can be caused by stress or acid reflux.
The technical name for these “buds gone wild” is transient lingual papillitis or “lie bumps” which came from an old wives tale that when you fib, you get these little painful bumps on your tongue. It’s nothing to worry about unless you have lots of them or it happens frequently, then you should get it checked out by your dentist or an oral surgeon.
What is a remedy?
Honestly, when I’ve had them, I simply bite them off with my front teeth. It only hurts for a second and there is immediate relief. Others have cut them off with a nail clipper (sterilize it first por favor) or pulled them off with a tweezers. This may sound horrid, but they can be really annoying and this is a fast cure. From what I have read in forums online, other people have said to apply hydrogen peroxide a couple of times a day or baking soda. You could also try ice or rinsing with salt water to help with the swelling. These suggestions will take longer to work than the old snip snip, but whatever works for you!
So fear not, lie bumps are a shared issue among lots of others. It’s just another little annoyance in life. If you want to put up with it, try the aforementioned tonic or be brave and slice that little bugger off. Just know that relief is on its way!
Information compiled from Med-Health.com, ZocDoc.com and staff at Szmanda Dental Center 2014