Human tongue is not just a bundle of muscles; it plays a significant role in a person’s life. Tongue has several functions. It assists in speech. Tongue helps to chew and swallow the food. Above all it is an organ of taste. This sense of taste is experienced due to presence of taste buds on the surface of tongue.
There are tiny protrusions on the surface of tongue. These protrusions are called papillae. Majority of papillae contain taste buds. It helps in detecting whether the food is sweet, salty, or sour. Sometimes these papillae become large in size.However, except for the inconvenience, enlarged papillae are not serious. There are four different types of papillae, fungi-form, filiform, foliate and circumvallate.
- Fungi-form papillae are situated on the side of tongue. Their shape is like mushroom, and they are able to detect sour and sweet taste.
- Filiform papillae are numerous and they are scattered all over the tongue. They act as an abrasive coating. Filiform papillae detect sour taste.
- Foliate papillae are at the side of the tongue.
- The circumvallate papillae can detect the bitter taste. They are situated at the back of the tongue in V form. Circumvallete papillae are very less in number.
What Causes Enlarged Papillae?
Most of the time, enlarged papilla on the tongue is harmless. However, there are certain conditions which are harmful and cause enlargement of papillae. You should be careful of such conditions and take adequate measures to reduce the problem.
- Smoking causes irritation on the tongue. Especially a person who smokes excessively. This may result in enlargement of tongue papillae.
- The tongue may scald and get traumatized if you drink too much hot. This may precipitate the papillae to swell and become enlarged.
- An infection of the tongue after a tongue bite can lead to enlargement of papillae of the tongue.
- One of the reasons often noted for bumps on tongue is canker sores. Canker sores on tongue are usually caused due to stress.
- Certain gastrointestinal conditions such as reflux and colitis can cause enlarged papillae on the tongue as associated symptom.
- You should rule out oral cancer, when the sore does not heal after two to three weeks.
How To Get Rid Of Enlarged Papillae On Tongue?
Many times enlarged papillae on tongue can become painful. Following certain tips may help to reduce the enlargement as well as the pain.
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking. This will not only help in reducing the enlargement, but also benefit in reducing the risk of certain dreadful diseases, namely heart attack, lung cancer, and stroke.
- Avoid eating too much of spicy food and hot food.
- Follow good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and tongue regularly. Floss your teeth.
- To alleviate pain caused due to sores, gargle with salt water two times in a day.
- Drink butter milk and eat yogurt. Both contain healthy bacteria and help to maintain equilibrium of good and bad bacteria in the body.
- If you have dentures, see that they fit perfectly and do not cause tongue bites.
- Eat more vitamin supplements containing vitamin B1, B2, B6, and B12. Green leafy vegetables and fruits contain vitamins and minerals which have overall benefit for the body.