What causes blisters on tongue? Get useful insight on how to get rid of them, pictures, on tip, under, side, back and baby.
Blisters on Tongue – Overview
Tongue is strongest muscle in the body since it is made up of a group of muscles that allow us to taste food, swallow, and talk. A healthy tongue is pink and covered with small nodules called papillae.
Because you use your tongue constantly, it can be frustrating and uncomfortable when you experience tongue problems, including appearance of blisters on tongue or discolorations.
Blisters on Tongue Causes
These causes include:
It is a situation or condition causes cells in the mouth to grow excessively leading to formation of blisters on tongue. That, in turn, leads to the formation of white patches inside the mouth, including on the tongue.
Leukoplakia can develop when the tongue has been irritated, and it is often found in people who use tobacco products.
- Yeast infection
The condition results in white patches that are often appear as blisters on tongue since they are in consistency on the surfaces of the mouth and tongue. Yeast infection is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with weakened immune systems.
- Oral lichen planus
A network of raised small bumps or blisters on tongue with a lace-like appearance can be a sign of this condition. Doctors often can’t pinpoint its cause, but it usually gets better on its own.
- Vitamin deficiencies.
Deficiencies of folic acid and vitamin B-12 may cause your tongue to take on a reddish blisters on tongue in appearance.
- benign migratory glossitis
It is named for the map-like pattern of reddish spots that develop on the surface of the tongue. At times, these patches have a white border around them and their location on the tongue may shift over time.
- Scarlet fever.
People who get this infection may develop blisters on tongue or it turns like strawberry. Be sure to contact a doctor immediately if you have a high fever and red tongue. Antibiotic treatment is necessary for scarlet fever.
- Kawasaki syndrome.
This disease, usually seen in children under the age of 5, affects the blood vessels in the body and can cause blisters on tongue. During the severe phase of illness, children often run an extremely high fever and may also have redness and swelling in the hands and feet.
Accidentally biting your tongue or scalding it on something straight out of the oven can result in formation of blisters on tongue until the damage heals. Grinding or clenching the teeth can also irritate the sides of the tongue and cause it to become painful.
Smoking excessively can irritate your tongue and make it sore by appearance of blisters.
- Burning tongue syndrome.
Some postmenopausal women develop this syndrome, which makes the tongue feel as if it has been burned.
- Certain medical conditions.
Medical conditions, including diabetes and anemia, can have a sore tongue as a symptom.
- Enlarged papillae
If one or more of your taste buds becomes inflamed or irritated, it can swell and form a painful bump on your tongue.
- Oral cancer
Though most sore tongues are nothing to worry about, you should consult a doctor if you have a lump or sore on your tongue that doesn’t go away within a week or two. Many oral cancers don’t hurt in the early stages, so don’t assume a lack of pain means nothing is wrong.
- Canker sores.
Many people will develop these mouth ulcers on the tongue eventually. The cause is unknown, although they can be worse during periods of heightened stress.
How to Get Rid of Blisters on Tongue Fast
Natural remedies include:
- Apply Ice
Ice has a numbing effect that will give you soothing and immediate relief from the pain caused by blisters on tongue. Along with pain, ice can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Warm salt water
Salt is good for treating tongue blisters as it will reduce inflammation and pain. Salt can even kill bacteria and prevent infection.
- Baking Soda
For treating tongue blisters, baking soda is also very effective. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe pain and inflammation. It is particularly good when dealing with tongue blisters caused by canker sores. Plus, it helps restore the pH balance in the mouth.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can help treat blisters caused by canker sores. It has strong antibacterial and disinfectant properties that help kill bacteria as well as reduce the risk of infection.
Turmeric has antiseptic properties that can help relieve the pain and inflammation caused by tongue blisters.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is also recommended for treating tongue blisters due to its natural healing and antibacterial properties. Aloe vera can speed up healing and also reduce pain and inflammation.
Another herb that you can use to treat tongue blisters is basil. Basil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can reduce symptoms like pain and inflammation. It can even speed up the healing process.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties that make it a very effective treatment for tongue blisters.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water.
- Use this mixture as a mouthwash twice daily for a few days.
Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, coriander also will effectively treat tongue blisters and relieve the accompanying pain and inflammation.
- Vitamin B
As tongue blisters can occur due to a deficiency in vitamin B, you can treat them by eating more vitamin B-rich foods. This vitamin can even prevent recurrence of blisters.
Further treatment tips:
- When you have tongue blisters, it is best to avoid spicy or acidic foods. Also avoid eating too many sweets.
- Do not scratch the blisters with your teeth as it will slow down the healing process.
- Drink lots of cold water, cold milk or fruit juices to help reduce the pain.
- Maintain good oral hygiene when you have tongue blisters. Brush your teeth regularly and use mouthwash to remove excess bacteria or irritants.
- Eat soft foods that are easier to chew.
- Add more ginger and garlic to your daily diet.
- Refrain from having hot drinks like tea or coffee.
- Avoid using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) if you get frequent tongue blisters.
Pictures of Blisters on Tongue
- Hairy Tongue
This is a relatively rare condition whose appearance is due to the elongation of filiform papillae. These papillae have a mechanical abrasive function. These papillae do not contain taste buds this condition can be caused by poor oral hygiene, chronic oral irritation or smoking.
The far right picture shows a patient who was a heavy smoker and has been treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Radiation therapy causes a dry mouth with chronic oral inflammation.
Treatment involves good oral hygiene, brushing of the tongue, mouth rinses and sometimes the trimming of the elongated papilla. The picture to the left is the same patient two months later after improvement in his oral hygiene.
- Black Hairy Tongue
This patient has a black hairy tongue which was caused, at least in part, by significant gastroesophageal reflux. Control of her reflux along with the use of a topical anti-fungal medication (Nystatin), cessation of smoking and bushing of her tongue resulted in marked improvement. The pre-treatment picture is the picture on the far right.
It is a white patch which can occur in the oral cavity. It is often caused by chronic irritation or infection but can also be a cancerous or precancerous lesion. In this patient the leukoplakia had areas of redness called erythroplakia. Erythroplakia often represents a cancer.
On biopsy, the patient was found to have a fungal infection. Fungal infections of the oral cavity may often mimic a cancer both on gross appearance and sometimes even histologically.
- Apthosis Ulcers
Apthosis ulcers are shallow small painful ulcers which appear on mobile mucosa in the oral cavity. They are often found in individuals that are under stress. The cause of these ulcers is unknown.
They are caused by the Herpes Zoster Virus. They occur many years after an individual has had chicken pox. Once a patient has had chicken pox, they will carry the virus for the rest of their life.
When the patient does not have symptoms, the virus is in dormant state residing cell bodies of nerve tissue. Over the years, a patient’s antibody levels fall and the dormant virus emerges. The virus causes lesions to erupt on the skin in the regions that are innervated by the infected nerve.
Blister on Side of Tongue
This patient was treated with Famvir (Famciclovir) and had rapid resolution of the lesions. The probable cause of these lesions was herpes simplex.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
The area was fluctuant and when lanced abundant puss was expressed. Culture revealed MRSA. The wound was drained and the patient was treated with Bactrum, a sulfa based antibiotic. MRSA is in the group of bacteria referred to as Multi-Resistant Drug Organisms (MDROs).
It is ocaused by inhalation steroids such patients had asthma and used inhaled steroids on a daily basis. These patients were treated with a topical anti-fungal medication, oral Nystatin.
- Acute Tonsillitis
This is a common condition which is usually caused by gram positive bacteria. If the organism is Streptococcal Pyrogenesis, there is a risk of developing Rheumatic Fever.
This is a condition where the values of the heart are damaged by the antibiotic response to bacteria. Tonsils normally have deep crypts or holes that extend into the body of the tonsil.
- Lip Cancer
Cancer of the lip is a relatively common condition. When caught early, it is treatable with surgery or radiation therapy. Cancers of the lower lip have a better prognosis than those of the upper lip. Chronic sun exposure is the most common cause, but smoking can also be an etiology.
Blisters on Back of Tongue
- Natural Blisters
The papillae that contain the taste buds on the tongue form in a V that leads to the back of the throat. You also have lingual tonsils or a round mass of lymphatic tissue at the back of the tongue that will look like a blister.
These blisters are always at the back of the tongue, but different conditions may change their appearance. Sinus infections are known to enlarge the papillae. Some people simply have taste buds that are naturally large. Sometimes eating spicy foods can inflame the taste buds as well.
If you burn your tongue it can cause blisters to appear, but this is more likely to occur at the front of the tongue rather than the back. Sometimes brushing too hard with your toothbrush can cause the tongue to become irritated and blisters to appear.
In most cases applying a saltwater or antiseptic mouth rinse will help the blisters heal. If you leave the blisters alone they will usually heal on their own. Your doctor can also prescribe you a medication that will clear up the bumps if they are stemming from another infection.
Allergies, particularly those to medications or food, can cause bumps to appear on any part of the tongue. These blisters will usually be larger toward the back of the tongue. Blisters caused by an allergic reaction will typically appear within a few minutes of coming into contact with the substance that caused the irritation.
Warts typically appear in different areas of the oral cavity but they can occasionally appear on the tongue. Warts will either be a common infection that is caused by placing an infected finger in the mouth or genital warts that have been contracted by performing oral sex on someone with the infection.
Warts in the mouth will typically appear in clusters or as a singular growth. They will be a raised bump that has a wrinkled, smooth or spiky appearance. They may have a slight discoloration compared to nearby tissue which takes on a red, pink or whitish color. Warts should not be painful.
Oral blisters that are painless are rarely malignant, but any bump on the tongue runs the risk of being cancerous.
Blisters caused by cancer will typically be reddish or white and will be very easy to bleed. You may also notice ear pain, recurrent sore throats, and numbness in the area or bad breath.
Blisters on Tip of Tongue
Overgrowth of a fungus called candida in your mouth can cause oral thrush, a condition that result in white patches and blisters on your tongue. Most people have some amount of Candida in the mouth, but certain conditionsm such as illness or a weakened immune system, can cause it to grow excessively. White blisters and lesions appear on the tongue and may show on the gums or the inside of the cheek as well.
- Canker Sores
They are painful, white lesions found on the tongue or the inside of the lips. These types of sores can be triggered from poor nutritional intake or soft tissue injury, such as with biting your tongue. Also called aphthous ulcers, they are often irritated with certain foods, including those that are spicy or very hot.
- Lie bumps
These little white or red blisters form when papillae become irritated and slightly swollen. It’s not always clear why this happens, but it may be related to stress, hormones, or particular foods.
- Squamous papilloma
Squamous papilloma is associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s usually a lone, irregularly shaped blister that can be treated surgically or with laser ablation.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It usually begins with a small, painless sore that’s easy to dismiss. The initial sore is followed by a rash. More sores come and go as the disease progresses.
- Lymphoepithelial Cysts
These soft yellow cysts usually appear underneath the tongue. Their cause isn’t clear. The cysts are benign and can be surgically removed.
Glossitis is when inflammation makes your tongue appear smooth rather than bumpy. It may be the result of a variety of causes, including an allergic reaction, smoking and other irritants, or infection.
Blisters on Tongue and Sore Throat
They are stimulated by:
- Viral pharyngitis
Viral pharyngitis is a sore throat caused by a virus that causes throat pain and also blisters on tongue.
- Strep throat
Strep throat is a throat infection causing symptoms including a red sore throat with white blisters on tongue.
Tonsillitis is painful swelling in the tonsils, causing sore throat, red tonsils, pain, fever, and more.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx, or voice box, causing hoarseness and loss of voice.
- Thermal burn of mouth or tongue
A thermal burn of the mouth or tongue can cause pain, blisters, peeling skin, and temporary loss of taste.
- Drug allergy
A drug allergy is an allergic reaction to a medication and can cause a rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing.
- Thrush (infants and children)
Thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth causing whitish patches on the tongue and inside the cheeks.
- Dust exposure
Dust exposure can cause congestion, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and more.
- Smoke exposure
Exposure to smoke can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, chest pain, and more.
- Indoor allergens
Indoor allergens are the things that cause an allergic reaction: dust, dust mites, mold, pet hair and more.
- Dehydration (Children)
Dehydration or lack of adequate fluid causes dry and sticky mouth, tearless crying, and more in children.
- Acute sinusitis
Acute sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses, causes sinus pain and tenderness, facial redness and more.
- Common cold
The common cold is a viral respiratory infection causing sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headache and more.
Symptoms of heartburn and GERD are a burning feeling in the chest, throat, or mouth, nausea, and more.
- Thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland and can cause a cough, hoarseness, a lump in the neck, and more.
Epiglottitis is a rare, life-threatening illness that keeps air from getting to the lungs.
Mononucleosis is a viral infection causing extreme fatigue, sore throat, fever, rash, muscle aches, and more.
Blisters on Tongue Toddler or Baby
- A virus that commonly affects infants and children named the Coxsackie virus causes Hand, Food and Mouth Disease (HFMD). HFMD is very infectious and causes fever, blisters in the mouth and may be associated with a skin rash.
- Smaller painful bumps on the tongue could be inflamed papillae, the taste buds on your baby’s tongue. Sometimes they are inflamed due to feeding your baby something that is too hot.
- Fluid-filled blisters under the tongue may be present which are painless. These are called mucocele cysts and are formed from sucking the mouth tissue between the teeth or blockage of a salivary gland.
- Sores on the outer edge of the lips that are red or purple can be caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be passed onto baby through something as innocent as an infected relative’s gentle kiss.
- Tooth trauma, on the other hand, refers to a broken or chipped tooth that causes openings in the tooth enamel where bacterial infection takes place.
- Presence of tooth abnormalities and improper oral hygiene also contribute in causing Abscess Tooth. Weak immune system and certain autoimmune disorders may also encourage bacterial infection leading to Abscess Tooth.
- Avoid giving your baby anything that will irritate the blisters. Instead, give your child ice cream and popsicles.
- Disinfect surfaces and toys with soap and water, then a disinfectant solution, such as 1 tbsp. of chlorine bleach to 4 cups of water.
- Inflamed papillae and mucocele cysts will heal on their own without treatment. If your baby has pain from inflamed papillae, try to keep them comfortable with things like ice cream or popsicles until they feel better.
- How to Get Rid of Blisters on Tongue Fast: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps#3
- Tongue Bumps: Enlarged Papillae and Other Problems: http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/tongue-bumps#Overview1
- Small White Bumps on the Tip of the Tongue: http://www.livestrong.com/article/317780-small-white-bumps-on-the-tip-of-the-tongue/