Swollen Taste Bud on Tip of Tongue

2000px-Taste_buds.svg If you have a swollen taste bud, you are maybe looking for an answer because you may not know what caused it. It can be pretty painful and it can lead to some complications, that is why you should inform yourself prior to any further damage. The number of the taste buds in our body goes up to 8,000 and they can be not only on the surface of your tongue but also in your soft palate, esophagus, and epiglottis. These are the spots that are in charge for the taste reception. There is a taste map which shows where do we sense certain taste. The sides of the tongue at the back are receiving the sour, in front of it are the fields for saltiness. The tip of the tongue is for the sweet and the base of the tongue for the bitter.

If you have a swollen bud, you may not feel the taste of food nor the drinks. Here are some of the causes and also the remedies you can try to treat the inflamed taste bud.

Possible Causes of Swollen Taste Bud

Since swollen taste buds can be a consequence of many disorders, here are some common causes.

Hot Food/Beverages

2557952204_1bc707c254_bEveryone has experienced the burn from a hot drink or food. If the ingested food or drink is that hot, it can cause an extreme irritation in a form of a burn. This will cause the swelling of taste bud which can result in numbness for taste and also irritate the surrounding of the tongue if you’ve had the contact with other surfaces like the mouth or the inside of cheeks.

Very Seasoned Food Such as Too Spicy, Salty or Acidly

Since your tongue is supposed to sense every type of taste, it can be irritated if the taste is too strong such as too spicy, salty and acidic. This can also result in swelling and pain. Another accompanying symptom may be itchiness as well, and it does not subside by scratching and trying to ease the sensation by rubbing it against teeth.


Another important cause is stress. Overly stressed people can suffer from swollen taste buds. This is due to immune system levels, where when stress gets on a high level, the immune system reacts and it can’t hold this kind of condition for too long. The stress overpowers the immune system over time and it can cause stress swollen taste buds. This can also cause hormonal imbalance and other accompanying symptoms.

Tobacco and Alcohol

These two are responsible for many things and one among those is swollen taste bud. This can happen when the tobacco while chewing or alcohol itself causes irritation and the outcome can be such that it causes swelling of the taste receptors.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux causes the acid of the stomach to return to the oesophagus and mouth. This can be caused by many conditions, but the outcome of acidic surrounding can cause receptors swelling. This is similar to the acidic cause, but the acid comes from the body itself. It can cause other damage such as oesophagus irritation, tongue, and other mucosa membrane destruction.

Bite, Injury

Sometimes, the swollen taste bud can be even due injury such as rubbing the tongue against the tongue constantly or biting the tongue. It can damage the receptors and the sharp teeth can cause further damage if not terminated.

Hot to Treat Swollen Taste Bud?


As you would probably figure, cold ice can help you relieve your pain, numb the itchiness and calm the swelling. It will constrict the blood vessels and reduce the puffiness. One thing you have to be careful with is not to burn your tongue while doing this, since holding it for too long (more than half an hour max) can damage the tissue and cause a burn.

Saline Water

Salt water is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, thus it can contribute to swelling reduction. You can use tap water with a bit of sea salt and make a solution. Gargle with this fluid at least three times a day. The gargle will affect the back taste buds.


Honey is anti-bacterial, antiseptic and the anti-inflammatory home remedy which is good for various conditions. It can help speed up tissue recovery by healing the cells and making the perfect antibacterial surface. You can apply honey directly to the swollen tongue or you can mix it with some warm look water and gargle several times a day.

Ginger, Garlic, Pepper

These three home remedies can change your recovery time and speed up the healing process. It will kill all the bacteria and support the restitution of the cells. Make a solution out of the three ingredients and gargle a few times a day.


Staying hydrated is another way to help your body fight the inflammation. It is important to wash away all the bacteria from your tongue and that is another reason why you should intake lots of fluid.


Glycerin can help with creating a protective barrier to help the tissue recovery. It will reduce the soreness and swell and contribute to inflammation treatment.

Tea Tree Solution

Tea tree is known by its numerous properties which will reduce the swelling, kill bacteria and cause rapid healing of the injury. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with warm water and gargle a few times. Try not to swallow since tea tree oil can sometimes cause hallucinations.


If all of the above-mentioned home remedies were not helpful, you should contact your doctor for appropriate treatment. Since a cause can be different, a doctor can prescribe from antibiotic and antiviral drugs to some medications for trauma, STDs, Vitamin C and B deficiency. It is best to investigate the real cause than to deal with consequences.