Bumps on Back of Tongue: White, Lie, Red, Pictures, Treat

What causes bumps on the back of tongue? Is it due to sore throat, std, strep, cancer or enlarged papillae? Get more insights on the causes, symptoms, treatment and pictures of white, red and big bumps on tongue.

Although bumps on tongue are natural, there is a reason to worry when you notice big, red or white bumps forming at the back of your tongue, on sides and under the tongue. There are many conditions that associate such symptoms, therefore investigation is important to know the causes and hence treatment.
What does bumps on back of tongue mean? Is it normal to have white or red bumps on the back, side or under the tongue? Does a bumpy tongue an indication of a serious underlying health condition or just a simple mild infection? In this post we have an elaborate discussion on the causes, meaning and how to treat with home remedies.
Under normal circumstance bumps on the tongue may go unnoticed if they are harmless. Small bumps located on top or sides of your tongue can give your tongue a rough texture which assist you to eat. These kind of bumps are called fungiform papillae. They tend to increase in size for a number of reasons. Although they aren’t serious, see your healthcare provider if they cause pain, or they are persistent, growing or either spreading.
White bumps or Lie bumps are common and half of us experience these bumps at some point. They are little white or red bumps and appear when the papillae is irritated or inflamed and slightly swollen. The cause is not clear but it can be attributed to stress, hormones or certain nutrition.

What does Bumps on back of Tongue mean?

What does it mean to have odd or raised bumps on back of your tongue? Does it hurt when you swallow or gives you the feeling of something stuck in the throat? As discussed earlier fungiform papillae are bumps that will be visible on the sides and sometimes at the back of the tongue.
About half of the world population at some point in their life experience lie bumps. It is believed that your stress level, hormones or certain foods influences the appearance of bumps in mouth and back of tongue.
Papillae are natural bumps that appear in the mouth and at the back of tongue. However different conditions may change the appearance of the lumps. If you have sinus infection for instance, you will experience huge or enlarged bumps or papillae.  In some people the taste buds are naturally big or enlarge.
A lump or a bump at the back of your tongue could as well indicate a serious health condition such as cancer or mouth problems. Oral cancer or mouth can be in form of oral bumps that are painless and rarely malignant. Bumps in the mouth as a result of cancer are typically reddish or whitish and tend to bleed easily.

How does a bump at the back of your tongue look like? Bumps on your tongue and mouth will appear differently depending on the cause. For instance, if you have oral cancer you will experience reddish or whitish bumps that can easily bleed when irritated.

Why you have Red Bumps on back of your Tongue 

What are the causes of bumps on your tongue and sometimes throat? Natural bumps are harmless and tend to heal on their own with time. However, lumps on your tongue can be as a result of serious underlying health condition such as cancer. Bumps on tongue could be strep, sore throat, oral thrush, STD or canker sores. Below we have covered the possible causes of bumps on back of tongue.

1. Oral cancer

Are red bumps on your tongue a sign of cancer in the mouth and tongue? If you have oral bumps you may not easily tell if they are related to oral cancer or not. However, bumps on the tongue pose a risk of being cancerous and shouldn’t be ignored. If you have oral bumps that often tend to be painless and rarely malignant, then this could be a symptom of cancer in your mouth and back of tongue.
Bumps on back of tongue caused by cancer are typically reddish or white and can bleed easily if slightly irritated. People with lumps on back of tongue are likely to experience ear pain, a sore throat that refuses to go away and numbness in the affected coupled sometimes with bad breath. Other related symptoms associated with bumps on tongue to have been reported include having a difficulty in swallowing or chewing as the bumps generally get painful.

2. Bumpy tongue due to allergy

Oral bumps including those in the mouth and back of tongue can be as a result of allergic reaction. Allergies, especially those to medication and or food can cause your tongue to have raised and uncomfortable red bumps. These odd bumps tend to be larger on back of your tongue and even visible in your throat.
If your tongue gets irritated with either medication or food, bumps will appear immediately within a few minutes of coming into contact with the irritant. Some people will experience swelling on their face from the reaction. Similarly if you are suffering from Oral Allergic Syndrome (OAS), you are prone to have bumps on back of tongue. The symptoms ranges from mild to severe, you should check your condition regularly for possible medical intervention.

3. Oral thrush

Are bumps on back of tongue as a result of oral thrush? Thrush is basically a fungal infection that causes affected tongue to have either a white or a yellow coating to appear on it. Your tongue can get lesions of thrush that can appear anywhere on your tongue including your palate, gums and or the tonsils. The tissues underneath your tongue might be red or white.
Oral thrush can causing bumps or lumps in your mouth and tongue can easily bleed if you scratch the coating away. Thrush tend to appear generally on the insides of the cheeks, gums or the roof of your mouth. Typically, bumps on back of tongue due to oral thrush are painful and may end up affecting your ability to taste. Other symptoms will include enlarged bumps on the tongue which have the ability to multiply.

4. Canker sores

Could bumps on back of tongue caused by canker sores? Canker sores tend to appear on any part of the mouth including your tongue. If you are suffering from canker sores, small ulcers typically with a white or yellow center will appear on your tongue. Usually the ulcers have a red outline and can be painful and swell when irritated or inflamed.
Fortunately, canker sores aren’t contagious. You may use over-the – counter pain reliever to help ease pain and other related symptoms. Canker sore do not last more than 10 days without treatment. However, if you have persistent canker sores coupled with a fever that inhibit you from eating normally, seek professional medical help. You can as well treat canker sores at home with salt water to rinse your mouth and tongue.

5. Scarlet Fever

Bumps on back of tongue can be as a result of scarlet fever. If you have scarlet fever, you may have a feeling of a strawberry tongue. Bumps will appear anywhere on the mouth and tongue. Scarlet fever tends to make your to appear red, bumpy and swollen. This condition is caused by infection of bacteria in the mouth and tongue.
If you have a sore throat or a skin infection, you are likely to suffer from scarlet fever. The symptoms of scarlet fever manifest themselves after two to five days of infection. It is more common in children than it is in adults. You may develop rash on the affected skin and gets itchy sometimes. The fever tend to spread across the entire body including the chest and abdomen.
The fever on the tongue makes the tongue appear bright red with slightly odd enlarged bumps on back of tongue. Antibiotics can be used to treat the condition if it is mild. Scarlet fever is known to be very contagious should therefore be taken seriously.

6. Smoking weed and consumption of alcohol

Is smoking weed or taking alcohol causing your tongue to have bumps? Generally smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol puts your health at risk. If you have the habit of excessive smoking and large intake of alcohol, you should quit. Your tongue gets irritated whenever you smoke weed. This makes your tongue sore and the bumps on back of tongue get painful and easily bleed.
Additionally, smoking and alcohol intake puts you at risk of contracting oral cancer including your mouth, gums, cheeks, tongue and throat. Smoking can as well make your tongue to have a white coating. White bumps or lines on the tongue will be visible from inflammation called oral lichens.

7. Leukoplakia

If you a thick white lesions that appear on your mouth and tongue, you could be suffering from a condition known as leukoplakia. You may notice raised odd bumps on the gums, cheeks and tongue. Although the bumps are benign but they might be precancerous. In some instances red lesions known as erythroplakia will develop.
Leukoplakia tend to develop as wrinkled patches on the sides of the tongue. The patches are common as visible as hairy leukoplakia. These lesions are less painful. However, they get irritated and become sensitive if you eat spicy or hot food.

8. Warts

Is your bumpy tongue a symptom for warts? Bumps on back of tongue be warts that typically appear in different parts of the oral cavity. Wart is a Human papilloma virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer in women. Lately, it is known as the cause of infection that tend to harbor at the back of your mouth including the throat, back of tongue and tonsils.
Warts in the mouth appear as a group or cluster or at times as a singular growth.  You’re likely to experience raised bumps that look odd, wrinkled or spiky. Other simples of bumps on back of tongue caused by warts include: slight discoloration when compared to neighboring tissues that will appear red, pink or white in color.

9. Kawasaki Disease

Bumps in the mouth and back of tongue can be caused by Kawasaki disease. This is an autoimmune disease that is prevalent in children. It causes odd red bumps that are slightly enlarged on back of tongue. Other symptoms of Kawasaki disease include: cracked lips, fever, swollen lymph nodes, the palms or the soles of the feet become red.
If your child has Kawasaki disease, visit your healthcare provider for treatment. Otherwise, it can lead the tongue turning very dark and be fatal if left untreated.

10. Mononucleosis

Small dots or bumps on back of tongue which doesn’t hurt can be caused by mono infection. Mono tend to mostly affect the upper respiratory system. The symptom of mono include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat and tongue, which sometimes can be severe
  • Muscle pain
  • Small red spots or bumps on tongue and inside mouth particularly on the roof of mouth (palate)

If you have any of the symptoms among others, visit your doctor to have condition treated.

11. Sore throat and strep

A sore throat and tongue strep could be the reason back of your tongue is having bumps. Strep throat is caused by infection of bacteria in the oral cavity particularly the throat and tend to spread to other areas including back of tongue.  Bumps on your tongue that don’t hurt are normal.
All humans have large taste buds called vallate papilla that are located at the back of tongue. If the bumps hurt, visit your healthcare provider to get examination. Sore throat can cause you to have post nasal drip: this is from congestion of mucous either from cold or from seasonal allergies.

12. Digestive problems such as acid reflux

Back of your tongue can have red bumps due to digestive disorders like acid reflux. If you have acid regurgitating from the stomach and reaching the back of your tongue surface and throat, lumps are likely to develop. The burning effect of the acid will form raised lumps like blister which appear red. Common symptoms of acid reflux include a heartburn, bloating, regurgitation among others.

13. Red bumps on tongue STD, HIV or Oral Herpes

Red lumps on back of tongue could be an indication of STDs. If you’re having initial stages of sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, you are likely to develop little or tiny painless sores on your tongue.  This can be seen in other areas such as vulva, vagina, lips, cervix and other entry point of the bacteria causing the disease.
At the secondary stage of infection, sores and lesions are quite common. However, red bumps on back of tongue doesn’t necessarily imply that you have HIV. Bumps on your tongue could be a weakened or generally a compromised immunity allowing other infections on your tongue.
Oral herpes is a viral infection caused by a herpes simplex. Oral herpes causes painful sores or bumps on your lips, gums, inside your cheeks roof of the mouth and back of tongue and throat. You can contract herpes by touching infected saliva, skin or mucous membrane.

Reasons for Bumps on back of tongue that hurts to swallow

Odd and raised bumps on back of tongue can make you feel uncomfortable when you chew. If the bumps are caused a by serious health condition like cancer, HIV or simply oral thrush, it can be really hurt when you swallow food. If you are having a lump on back of tongue that hurts when you swallow, you should make an attempt to visit a doctor.
Similarly if the bumps on tongue are inflamed or irritated, they can hurt when you swallow. Oral bumps including at the back of tongue and throat can hurt of you are allergic certain food or a reaction to medication.

Why are Red Bumps on back of the Tongue bleeding

The appearance of red spots on back of tongue that bleed can be worrying. Bleeding spots on back of tongue can be an indication of a more serious health condition like HIV, oral cancers or just trauma. If for instance you have enlarged lumps or red spots on tongue, physical trauma such as brushing your teeth can cause bleeding.
Mouth syndromes can also be the reason why the lumps or dots on back of your tongue are red and bleeding. A more serious case like oral cancer can lead to bleeding of dots on your tongue. Bumps in the mouth as a result of cancer are typically reddish or whitish and tend to bleed easily. Additionally, oral thrush or candidiasis can cause red spots on the tongue to bleed especially when you try to remove the white coating.

Can you get Bumps on back of Tongue during Pregnancy

Do you have a bunch of bumps on back of tongue while you are pregnant? Tongue sores during pregnancy are normal and can be caused by a number of reasons. It could be stress, oral cancer, allergic reaction, compromised immunity or enlarged papillae. A viral or yeast infection could also be the cause of bumps or sores on back of tongue.
Check with your doctor to have the condition examined and treated. If left untreated it could be the onset of a serious medical condition such as oral cancer.

What to do when there are Bumps on back of tongue of a baby

A baby or a toddler having a bumpy tongue could be suffering from canker sores, inflamed papillae, Kawasaki syndrome or mouth diseases among others. Kawasaki diseases is the prime cause of bumps on tongues of children. It can be difficult for the child to feed and swallowing. See a pediatrician for diagnosis if the bumps are painful and last for more than weeks.

What about Red bumps on back of tongue and white coating

What does a white coating on your tongue couple with red bumps mean? White coated tongue is as result of an overgrowth and swelling of papillae on the surface of the tongue. If food particles, bacteria and dead cells get lodged between enlarged and sometimes inflamed, you end up with a white coating with appearance of red bumps. Inflammation on papillae can be due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, alcohol use, low roughage diet among others.
Certain medical conditions and continued use of antibiotics can bring oral yeast infection. Your tongue could be suffering from oral lichen planus: it is a disorder that attacks the immune system causing white patches in the mouth including the tongue.

Why you have Lumps on back of tongue and swollen tonsils

Red lumps on back of tongue can be a symptom of tonsillitis. If you have acute irritation or inflammation of the tonsils caused by bacterial or viral infection, the tonsils become swollen. The most common bacterial infection is strep throat caused by a group of streptococcal infection in the tonsils, tongue and throat.

How to get rid of bumps on back of your tongue

Treatment or cure of bumpy tongue depend on what causes it. Bacterial or yeast infection will be healed by prescription of the right antibiotics or viral drugs. Oral thrush can be treated by prescription of antifungal medications.
To help cure or soothe irritation of lumps on back of tongue, the following are the recommended home remedies and general oral care tips that can be of much help.

  • Avoid allergic foods or medication. Food that irritate your mouth and tongue should be avoided. Spicy foods, acidic, hot or salty foods should be avoided to help the lumps heal fast. Similarly, if you are allergic to certain drugs, your healthcare provider will recommend alternative drugs and medications.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth, mouth and tongue regularly. You can incorporate antibacterial mouth wash.
  • Gargle with salty or saline water. Make it a habit to gargle your oral cavity with salty or saline water 2-3 minutes twice daily.
  • Chewing mint leaves before bedtime can help reduce irritation and swelling on the bumps.
  • Make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking powder and apply it on the tongue. This will reduce the swelling and remove bacterial infections.
  • For canker sores, you can topically apply antihistamine ointment. Rub gently the ointment directly onto the sores. This helps to soothe the canker sores.
  • You may as well try a cold compress by sucking ice chips or cubes. This will help reduce inflammation, pain or swelling of the bumps on back of tongue.