Have you ever noticed any tender bumps on your tongue appearing out of nowhere? The culprit might be the » lie bumps «. These are small red or white bumps on the surface of the tongue. Though it is usually known as the lie bumps, the dental term for this condition is Transient Lingual Papillitis (TLP).
People used to believe that these bumps appear on a person’s tongue when they lie. While this superstition is long forgotten, the name has stuck. These swollen bumps may cause some pain and discomfort but do not worry, this is a common condition that happens in over 50 percent of the population. These also usually go away without treatment after 2 or 3 days. It mostly affects women and in some cases, young children.
Some people describe lie bumps as pimple-looking bumps on the tongue. They can be painful, even when you aren’t eating or drinking. Although some people do not feel anything aside from the actual bump, others may feel:
Some studies show that transient lingual papillitis is considered an inflammatory disease with unclear underlying causes of the condition. But despite being not clearly understood, it is believed not to be harmful to an individual.
While further research and studies are needed to fully understand the causes of transient lingual papillitis, the following are believed to play a major role:
• Acidic foods
• Highly sugary foods
• Spicy foods
• Inflammation or irritation from orthodontic appliances or tongue thrusting
• Biting of the tongue
• Digestive problems or Allergies
It is assumed that lie bumps occur when small fleshy papillae on the tongue become irritated. The papillae are where the taste buds are, may swell and form bumps when irritated.
Lie bumps usually go away on their own after 2 or 3 days. However, it is best to treat symptoms and avoid possible causes. These are some ways to resolve the condition quickly:
• Rinse mouth with saltwater
• Avoid acidic or spicy foods
• Use mouthwash or over-the-counter topical treatment to reduce mouth bacteria
• Brush teeth after every meal
In most cases, no treatment is necessary since the condition usually resolves on its own. Doctors generally recommend treatments only to relieve the symptoms. These may include oral moisturizers for dry mouth or dexamethasone rinses for painful chewing.
Make sure to get regular dental cleanings and checkups. This condition has been connected to sharp-edged teeth and restorations, which your dentist can easily correct. Persistent, unbearably painful, and bleeding lie bumps that recur frequently should be inspected by a doctor.
Most people get the most common type of TLP, but a more severe and contagious type also exists called the eruptive form. This type involves a high fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Affected children may experience drooling and loss of appetite. The eruptive form can last up to two weeks and might recur one to two months later.
Still, good oral hygiene is the best preventative measure to avoid a variety of mouth problems. A healthy diet and adequate sleep may help prevent lie bumps while promoting your overall health.