Why Do I Have a Pimple On My Tongue?


When discussing pimples, the first image that comes to mind is a swollen, irritated bump on the skin of the face. While pimples can occur in many places, you don’t expect to see one on your tongue. When a painful, swollen bump appears on the tongue, you may wonder how you developed a pimple there. The good news is it isn’t a pimple. There are a few causes of these sores, and we will help you understand the most common reasons for them.

Why Do You Have A “Pimple” On Your Tongue?

The swollen bump on your tongue may often be as simple as a lie bump. Lie bumps result from lingual papillitis and typically appear as white or red “pimples” on the tongue. They appear for several reasons, including the consumption of spicy foods. If you see these bumps regularly appear after eating foods high in capsaicin, this is the most likely reason. These swollen bumps will heal independently and do not require additional treatment. 

Other reasons for tongue pimples include:

  • Enlarged papillae – The rough surface of your tongue is due to thousands of these bumps, which help grip food and host your tastebuds. These can become irritating for several reasons, including accidentally biting our tongue.
  • Canker Sores – Canker sores are lesions on the tongue. They’re often white in color and surrounded by angry red tissue. They can also appear on the lips, gums, and inner cheek. These often last about a week and do not require additional attention. However, they are pretty uncomfortable, and a saltwater rinse can help alleviate the pain. These sores have multiple triggers, including allergies, tongue irritation, stress, and vitamin B deficiency.
  • Oral Cancer – The overwhelming majority of tongue “pimples” are caused by the above two cases. However, in rare instances, they may be indicative of oral cancer. A significant indicator that oral cancer is possible is when these bumps are persistent and do not pass over time. If you still have the bump after two weeks, it’s time to visit your dentist or physician for a screening test.

A white “pimple” can also appear due to an infection, especially if swollen glands and fever accompany it. If this is the case with your bump, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the team at Laser Dental Bakersfield. 

Contact Laser Dental Bakersfield For More About Tongue Pimples

While these sores are typically temporary and relatively harmless, they can become troublesome if recurring. Recurring tender bumps on the tongue are not the same as a single persistent bump. However, this typically means that there is a trigger causing the bump to occur. You may have a sensitivity to something in your environment or your diet. You may also have malocclusion, a misaligned bite that causes you to bite your tongue frequently. Recurring bumps that come and go but often appear in the same general part of the mouth indicate that they may result from malocclusion and the resultant tongue biting. Call us today at (661) 885-9054!

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Dr. Jeannie Molato, DMD – Top Dentist in Bakersfield, CA

The art and science of dentistry has become my career’s passion. I can utilize my artistic passion and skill to give my patients smiles they have always dreamed of. I am also able to relieve my patients of their pain and discomfort, restore function to better their quality of life and educate the patients how to take care and maintain their oral health.