What Can Cause Tongue Pimples?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2019
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Tongue pimples are small bumps that appear on the tongue and may have a variety of causes. Food allergies, hormonal imbalances, and infections are among the most common reasons for the development of tongue pimples. These bumps may also be due to canker sores or physical injury to the tongue. A doctor should be consulted with any questions or concerns about tongue pimples so that an accurate diagnosis can be obtained and an individualized treatment plan can be devised.

One of the leading causes of tongue pimples is the development of food allergies. A doctor can perform a few simple tests in order to determine which foods are prone to cause allergic symptoms, although an elimination diet may be a simpler and less expensive way to determine food allergies. Clogged pores caused by poor dental hygiene may also cause the appearance of small bumps or pimples on the tongue.

Hormonal imbalances are sometimes responsible for tongue pimples. Blood tests can detect these imbalances, and hormone replacement therapy is often successful at resolving this symptom. Diets that are high in fat content may also cause clogged pores and pimples on the tongue. Those who have persistent problems with tongue pimples may benefit from lowering dietary fat content, especially if other causes have been ruled out by a doctor.


Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are often underlying factors when tongue pimples are present. Antibiotics are usually successful at clearing up infections caused by bacteria and should be taken for the full amount of time prescribed by a physician, even if symptoms begin to improve. Viral infections typically have to run their course, although prescription medications are available when necessary. Thrush is a type of fungal infection caused by a yeast overgrowth and is normally treated with a combination of dietary changes, proper oral hygiene, and the use of prescription medications.

Canker sores are small ulcers that sometimes develop inside the mouth or on the tongue. Acidic foods, stress, or dental problems may be responsible for these outbreaks. While medications are occasionally used to treat these sores, they almost always disappear without treatment within a few days. Physical injury involving the tongue can result in the appearance of small bumps that resemble pimples. Common injuries include biting the tongue, eating sharp or crunchy foods, and broken teeth or dentures. A doctor or dentist should be consulted with any specific questions concerning the appearance of tongue pimples.


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Post 3

I get pimples on my tongue whenever I suck on lots of hard candy. This happens most when it is candy that you can suck for awhile and then chew, because I tend to work on it for an hour or so!

I get sore red bumps on my tongue that just ache all the time. You'd think I'd learn to stop doing this, since I know what causes it!

There's really nothing I can do to treat them once they form. I just have to wait for them to go down. It's like overusing your muscles and waiting for the soreness to subside.

Post 2

@orangey03 – Swishing warm, salty water around in your mouth a few times a day can help. It may burn a little, but it seems to make the sores go away faster.

Also, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water and spread it on your tongue sores. This will burn, but again, it can make them heal faster, so it's worth it.

Post 1

Canker sores are just awful! They have sunken spots in the middle, and if anything acidic touches them, they burn so badly.

I can't drink orange juice or eat tomatoes or pineapple when I have canker sores on my tongue. They seem to take forever to go away, too.

Does anyone know what I can do to speed the healing? They hurt a little even when I'm not eating or drinking, and I'm so ready to be rid of them.

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