What Causes a Sore Tongue with Bumps?

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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Even though the tongue heals faster than other parts of the body, a sore tongue with bumps can be a cause for irritation. It can occur from simply biting on the tongue while talking or eating too fast, or burning it with a hot liquid or food. The sufferer can even make it worse by constantly rubbing the affected part of the tongue over his or her teeth or against the inside of the mouth. Some ailments are more serious in nature and will need to be treated by a medical professional. Leukoplakia, excessive yeast growth, and oral lichen planus are some medical reasons for a sore tongue with bumps on it.

Leukoplakia is commonly connected to a sore tongue that has bumps. This medical condition is noted to cause cells in and around the tongue to grow in excess, forming pale, bumpy patches on the surface of the tongue. These bumps can be painful when disturbed and especially obtrusive while eating. A mere nuisance, most cases of leukoplakia can be helped with medications prescribed by a doctor. If the bumps on the tongue are persistent, then it can potentially be a precursor to cancerous growths.


Candidiasis is a yeast infection that has taken refuge in the mouth. Normally dubbed as oral thrush, the condition manifests itself as white patches that appear to grow on the tongue, usually having a gelatinous texture. Most individuals suffering from this ailment have a sore tongue with bumps on it. Infants and the elderly are groups of people that are susceptible to yeast growth in the mouth. Individuals who are suffering from diabetes, AIDS, asthma, or have otherwise compromised immune systems are at risk of developing oral thrush as well.

Usually not as dangerous as leukoplaka, oral thrush tends to be connected with individuals who go through comprehensive antibiotic treatments. Many antibiotics, while generally good for the body's immune system, tends to directly or indirectly destroy the "good bacteria" in the oral cavity that may inhibit excessive yeast growth. Depleted levels of this "good bacteria" creates the essential environment for yeast to grow and take control, increasing the chance of oral thrush to take hold.

A sore tongue with bumps can sometimes have rather mysterious origins. Oral lichen planus manifests itself as stringy, white formations on the tongue that are slightly raised. It has been noted that the condition stems from the immune system mistaking the membranes in the mouth as a foreign contaminant, which manifests itself as inflammation, bumps, and soreness. What causes the immune system to attack oral membranes is unknown.

Practicing proper oral health can help to ward off the formation of oral lichen planus. Individuals who are habitual tobacco smokers are also at a risk of oral lichen planus. Most oral ailments can be easily prevented with the habitual use of toothbrush, toothpaste, and flossing. In addition, replenishing the body with "good bacteria" such as acidophilus can be accomplished by eating yogurt or by taking oral supplements.


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Post 1

This is a very informative article about the possible causes of sores on the tongue. Though it provides guidelines about these conditions and what to do about them, anyone with tongue sores should schedule an appointment with his or her doctor. This will help ease any concerns, and provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

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