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How To Get Rid Of Swollen (Inflamed) Taste Buds

by Fashionlady
How To Get Rid Of Swollen

How To Get Rid Of Swollen

Do you have a swollen tongue and you’re worried whether it is a disease or a bad case of infection?

Relax!!! It is only swollen or inflamed taste buds.

There are treatment options available. Following is the required information on causes, what to eat and what not to, in detail:

Causes of Swollen or Inflamed Taste Buds

Small papillae that sit on the tongue’s surface are your taste buds. They are messengers that tell your brain via nerve impulses what your food tastes like.

In the case of swollen or inflamed taste buds, the buds are fungiform in nature. In most cases, only one side of the tongue would be swollen – either back, lateral, front or the tip and sometimes the soft palate too.

Experts opine that there could be many factors that cause inflamed and swollen buds. Listed are a few:

1. Transient Lingual Papilittis

In this case, the taste buds are white and swollen. The bumps are no bigger than pimples and are painful. Consumption of acidic foods and fruits, processed sugary snacks and drinks, you could have transient lingual papillitis. In some cases, gastro disturbances in the body and menstruation too were known to contribute to such conditions.

2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

According to researches, STDs, HPV, yeast, Syphilis and thrush infections could be reasons enough for someone to have inflamed or swollen buds.

Buds here are swollen, painful and enlarged and manifest in the oral cavity.

3. Allergic Reactions

Allergies too can cause swollen and inflamed taste buds. For example, being allergic to acidic foods or consuming them unknowingly can cause inflamed buds. Sauces, seafood, citrus foods and lemons especially are known to cause swollen taste buds. Even certain medicines that you take may cause painful conditions apart from insect bites and bee stings. This is especially accompanied by throat swelling.

4. Deficiency Of Vitamins

Studies also show that if the body goes through a deficiency of vitamins C and B, you could have inflamed and swollen taste buds. This is because the named vitamins are known to keep the health of the oral zone in good shape, and lack of them can lead to a lack of nutrient intake. Hence a swollen tongue and enlarged taste buds are caused.

[Also Read: Tea Tree Oil For Rash Around Mouth ]

5. Hot Cup Of Tea/Coffee

While we do enjoy a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate every morning, sometimes hot beverages can cause inflamed taste buds. If the temperature of the beverage is very high when consumed, the lingual papillae are irritated. And worse still if the beverage is spicy, it can lead to instant inflammation of not only the taste buds, but the lymph nodes and even your oral cavity glands too; some can lead to cancer if ignored.

Hot Cup Of Tea

Source: pinterest

6. Smoking And Drinking

Those who drink a lot of alcohol and smoke or chew cinnamon gum can also have inflamed and swollen gums.

Such irritants are known to attack the back of the oral cavity and the tongues surface and since the chemical contents in them are high, the taste buds are irate all the more. Cinnamon can burn the tongue and inflame the taste buds if consumed in large amounts.

7. Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercing can lead to inflammation and swelling, bleeding and redness too. Worse cases would see unpleasant discharge and losing the original color of the tongue. The pain is often unbearable and the taste buds are swollen to the hilt in such conditions. With tongue piercing, a tingling sensation is felt. The same tingling sensation would encapsulate the sides of the tongue and burn the buds too. The oral cavity overall suffers and thus infection sets in.

10. Dry Throat And Mouth

Some cases have been noted where the dry throat and mouth have been reasons enough to have swollen and inflamed taste buds. This is because the buds at the back are swollen and since there is no lubrication in the mouth, your tongue is constantly rubbing against the sides and the upper palate and hence leaving it more dry.

11. Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder and can affect the health of the taste buds and the way they function as well. Symptoms of the same include inflammation and swelling.

12. Flu

Patients suffering from sore throat and cold or flu too could have inflammation of the taste buds. Even if you have sinus issues, blocked ears, running nose, headaches and fevers, your taste buds could be inflamed.


Source: mainehealthlearningcenter.org

13. Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety along with hormones running amok can be causes for irritated and swollen taste buds, since the immune system is disrupted. This makes it easier for the infections to attack the taste buds.

14. Sweet Tooth

If you have a sweet tooth, chances are you could have irritation of the tongue too. Even if you change your toothpaste or mouthwash, chances are the swelling of the taste buds could persist.

15. GERD And Acid Reflux

GERD and acid reflux is other reasons for taste buds to swell. This is mostly the back of the tongue that is attacked because severe reflux attacks just that place. It, later on, moves to the sides and then all over the oral zone.

Now that we know what the causes are, we shall check on the home remedies that can be done on your own to help with the same.

Home Remedies For Swollen Taste Buds of Tongue

What’s sadder than not being able to taste the delicious delicacies? Swollen Taste Buds. Apart from not allowing you to sense the taste, they also cause immense pain and could spoil your day. But no worry, we’ve got some natural home remedies that can fight the swollen buds away

1. Saltwater Gargle

Saltwater gargle is time tested to help remove the nasty infection and fluids associated with the lesions in the mouth.

What all you need?

  • A glass of warm water
  • A teaspoon of salt

How to Do
A teaspoon of salt is to be mixed in a glass of warm water.

How it Works
Salt is antimicrobial and antibacterial too. This is what makes the saltwater an agent to fight.

How Frequent in a day

Gargle with the water three to four times a day. This helps bring down the inflammation and swelling of the taste buds.

2. Cold Beverage Consumption

If saltwater gargle isn’t what you prefer, try having cold beverages. Anything hot is not advised to have, since it would only prolong the swelling and the inflammation.

What all you need?

  • cold water
  • Cool Beverages

How it Works

Cold beverages help bring down the pain and swelling. It numbs the area and allows the swelling go down.

How Frequent in a day

Take ten to fifteen cups of cold water a day or a cold beverage of your choice.


Don’t take carbonated drinks.

3. Suck On Ice Cubes

As long as you can and however much you can, ice cubes kept in the mouth can help bring down the pain and swelling.

What all you need?

  • Popsicles of the non-creamy types
  • Ice cubes.

How it Works

When the Popsicle or ice cubes melt, you would be hydrated in the body and the tongue wouldn’t dry away too. This brings down the swelling and discomfort.

How Frequent in a day

Repeat as much as you can.

4. Check On Your Oral Hygiene

Maintenance of oral hygiene is a must.

What you need?

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Chewing gum
  • Benzadamine and chlorhexidine

How it Works

Brushing and flossing twice a day would remove all the food particles in the mouth and teeth and the cavities too.

Chew gum daily as this removes the remains and develops saliva.

Benzydamine and chlorhexidine are effective painkillers and bactericidal mouthwashes that help keep the mouth free from harmful bacteria.

Using fifteen millilitres of it for a minute every morning would be helpful to wash and rinse the mouth.

Check on your Oral Hygiene


5. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

To counterbalance the sourness in the mouth associated with swollen tastebuds, experts have always suggested baking soda with hydrogen peroxide.

What you need

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide


  1. Mix an equal amount of the two and then form a paste.
  2. Apply the same with cotton on the affected area and wait for a minute.

How it works:

The two can be the best to kill bacteria in the mouth. They also help with healing. The pain and swelling would come down in a jiffy.

How Frequent in a day

Do this thrice a day before half an hour you drink or eat anything.

Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

Source: homeremediesforlife.com

6. Tea Tree Oil Rinse

This helps bring down the inflammation and swelling

What you need

  • Warm water
  • Tree tea oil


Mix two to three drops of tea tree oil with a cup of warm water. Gargle and rinse with the same.

How it works

The mixture would help kill the germs and the bacteria in the mouth

How Frequent in a day

Do this thrice a day.

7. Honey To The Rescue

Honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial and can help heal the swollen taste buds too.

What you need

  • Honey
  • Warm water


Mix a tablespoon of honey with warm water and gargle with it.

How it works
This brings down the redness and the swelling.

How Frequent in a day
This should be done thrice a day.

8. Crush Garlic, Ginger And Pepper

The three herbs and spices have been known to have high antibacterial properties.

What you need

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Pepper

Apply the paste with a cotton swab in the mouth and wait for ten minutes.

Try not to swallow the same.

Wash off with cold water and then wait for half an hour before you eat or drink anything.

How it works
The three when consumed together help bring down the swelling and pain

How Frequent in a day

Do this thrice a week.

9. Rubbing Frozen Cucumber

Cucumber is an astringent

What you need

  • Cucumber slices

The slices of cucumber should be gently rubbed in the mouth.

How it works
It helps soothe the inflammation

How Frequent in a day

Do this as frequently as you can, but not more than five times – one per interval, per day!

Rubbing Frozen Cucumber

Source: pinterest

Let us now learn about the types of food that can be eaten while suffering from swollen taste buds.

Foods To Be Eaten

Experts would always ask you to have foods that soothe the condition, hence, the thumb rule for the same would be- eat what cools and boosts the soothing effect to the tongue. Foods should be soft and gooey (almost), and easy to lick or savour, without hurting the taste buds.

Here are a couple of foods that can help.

1. Dairy produce such as milk and soft cheese, milkshakes and yoghurt help you savour the delicacy easily.

2. If you like fruits, fleshy fruits that are soft and meaty can be consumed.

  • Bananas and choose; they help sublimate over the tongue and flow into the throat without a hitch or by causing any pain whatsoever.
  • Apricots and pears, peaches etc can be mashed into pulp and had. They have vitamins and minerals in them that help fight inflammation.
  • Watermelon also is a good fruit to have, since it has plenty of water to cool the tastebuds down and to keep the mouth hydrated.

Remember, a dry mouth can actually make matters worse.

3. Lunchtime, gorge on soft food then can be swallowed easily.

  • Noodles can slide easily into the mouth.
  • You can also have potatoes mashed; gelatin-based meals and scrambled or boiled eggs too. They have enough of minerals and proteins, which work to nourish the body and to keep the immunity strong.
  • A dash of ginger in them would be nice, which helps fight bacteria and inflammation too.

4. Desserts are awesome to have- colder the better to help numb the pain and the inflammation; provide relief and brings in the much-needed protein and nourishment along with vitamins that keep the immune system strong.

5. Pureed veggies are a must; steam them and mash them into a pulp to have. In doing so, the body gets all the important nourishment and nutrients it needs, vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidants too that make the body’s defence system strong enough to heal soon and also make the immune system stay in the pink of health too.

6. If you fancy having meats; sticking to the softest boiled meats sans spice would be best.

  • Make a sandwich or brew them up or turn them into purees for easy eating- your body needs the best source of nourishment to fight the tongue condition and this is done by veggies.

7. Drink plenty of water.

Now that you have a very fair idea about what to eat, let’s check on what not to eat. Please read very carefully, and until your tongue doesn’t heal, avoid all temptations to challenge the inflamed tongue!

Foods To Be Eaten

Source: berkeleywellness.com

Foods To Be Avoided

Most experts would warn you from having anything that can irate the inflamed tastebuds- frizzy drinks, colas, aerated drinks etc can only do more harm than good. Here are more foods that should not be had-

  1. Do not chew betelnuts and paan, because they make the inflammation worse. The tobacco content in most betel nut preparations is to be blamed- leads to inflammation all the more.
  2. Foods that are acidic by nature should be avoided at all costs. This is because the inflamed tastebuds are very raw and tender at the moment. Mints and cinnamon, tomatoes, tangerine fruits, grapes, sauces, coffee and even teas must be avoided
  3. Do not eat your veggies raw
  4. Avoid eating toasted bread and hard biscuits, crackers and any foods that are rough, coarse and crusty by nature. This is because while chewing you would unintentionally cause friction on the tongue and rub the tongue against the upper palate. Your mouth would dry up sooner and cause more swelling and pain.
  5. Don’t use non-herbal products to clean your mouth as they have chemicals in them that can irate the taste buds further. Please take a very good note of this point.
Foods To Be Avoided

Source: trbimg.com

That was all about the foods to eat and not to eat, with suggestions given. Here now we have the precautions you should take to ensure that the tongue doesn’t have any more issues and that you don’t suffer from pains and swelling anymore.


Before trying to heal yourself, experts suggest the following-

  1. Don’t be a doctor and take your own medication, there could be side-effects that can do more harm than good to the condition
  2. Let your doctor know of your medical history. There’s no use hiding anything from him or her, and don’t be ashamed in telling them the truth. This helps them diagnose and prescribe the right medications you may need
  3. If you ever use any of the aforementioned home remedies, always wait half an hour before or after the same, before eating or drinking anything.
  4. Never ever ignore the importance of oral hygiene
  5. Don’t overuse or overdo with the holistic treatments mentioned; tea tree oil in excess can cause hallucinations.
  6. Foods should be cooked till it is tender and very soft for the timebeing
  7. Small pieces and very small quantities at a time should be consumed
  8. Puree what you can in a blender and juice it up to have
  9. Margarine and butter can be added to foods to make it easy to eat
  10. Drink your juices and liquids with a straw
  11. Try having as much as ice-cold foods as possible
  12. Rinse your mouth with plain water every hour to drown away the pathogenic bacteria.

When To Consult a Doctor?

In the beginning, it isn’t necessary to rush to a doctor as it sometimes heals on its own. However, if the swelling doesn’t reduce in a few days, you should visit the doctor. Swollen taste buds do no harm to the body as such, but the discomfort and pain can be unbearable. If you suffer from underlying diseases and STDs or HPV, get in touch with your doctor at once.(1)

When To Consult a Doctor

Source: wisegeek.com

We hope this information on what are swollen taste buds, how to deal with it, what to eat and what to avoid, causes and symptoms, and when to consult a doctor along with home remedies come in handy. Be happy and stay smiling always!


Q. Swollen Taste Buds During Pregnancy

Already having the pain of a kicking child within, swollen taste buds add to this. As everyone always says, take utmost care of yourself during pregnancy. So swollen taste buds are something that cannot be ignored, quick ways to cure them should be your first priority.

Disclaimer: For more information and help on swollen buds and inflamed buds, we would ask you to check with your doctor. His words would take precedence over what is written here and elsewhere online any day. Do not use any of the home remedies mentioned here if you are unsure; this is not a substitute to what your doctor would prescribe to you.

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Madison June 22, 2017 - 6:34 pm

Which type of std’s cause inflamed taste buds

Addison June 22, 2017 - 6:36 pm

I’m suffering with Acid Reflux and inflamed taste buds, which remedy do you suggest for both?
Thanks in advance

Melissa July 3, 2017 - 1:40 pm

I had Tongue Piercing last week and it dosent go well and now i got attacked with inflamed taste buds, can you suggest me the foods that i should take

Mansi Kohli July 4, 2017 - 2:41 pm

Eat foods that are bland and don’t contain any amount of spice in them. Pepper, ginger and garlic paste might come as a handy solution in curing it.

Lisa July 29, 2019 - 5:49 pm

Is this a bad google translation? “Take 10 cups of water a day”. Okay, I took 10 cups, now what? Do I place them on the table? On my head? Throw them at the mail man? What do I do?

Lisa July 29, 2019 - 5:51 pm

Also” Relax!!! It is only swollen or inflamed taste buds.” Later “can be caused by cancer” WTF? This writer must be a dark person (in spirit)


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