Taste buds are different muscle fibers present on the surface of our tongue that help in distinguishing the different flavors and taste of the food we eat. The tongue is divided into five oral portions that help in differentiating the taste of the food items, by detecting the five elements of taste, namely, salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami (or savory). However, at times deficiency of nutrients or by consuming hot and spicy food, our taste buds tends to get swollen, resulting in inflamed taste buds, also known as swollen taste buds. The swelling is usually small and white in color. If they are not attended at the earliest, inflamed taste buds can lead to other complications, such as mouth ulcers and tongue infections. Glance through the lines below to know the various causes of swollen taste buds and different remedies for treating the same.
Causes Of Swollen Taste Buds
- One of the most basic causes of developing inflamed taste buds is through consuming very hot, spicy or salty foods. Such foods irritate or burn the taste buds, resulting in swelling.
- Taste buds when exposed to toxins, such as alcohol, tobacco smoking, insecticides, etc. also cause inflamed taste buds.
- People who are allergic to certain food stuffs or acidic foods, such as lemons, grapefruits and some sauces, are also likely to get infected by swelling taste buds.
- Tongue ulcers and mouth ulcers caused due to thrush or any yeast infection are another common cause of inflamed taste buds.
- Deficiency of certain minerals and vitamins, like vitamin B complex, also lead to swollen taste buds.
- Inflamed taste buds are also the outcome of laryngectomy, a surgery wherein a part of or the entire larynx is removed. This surgery is usually carried out for treating cancer of the larynx.
Treatment Of Swollen Taste Buds
- Add some salt to a glass of warm water. Gargle with this saline mixture to relieve the swollen taste buds. However, ensure that the water should be just warm to be tolerated by your taste buds, else it can worsen the problem.
- To reduce the swelling, apply some baking soda on the inflamed taste buds. This will cool down the swelling, thereby healing it completely.
- Applying ice on the taste buds is another effective remedy. Simply press the ice against the swollen taste bud to cool and reduce the swelling. However, make sure that you do not apply much force to the taste buds, which can otherwise stop the blood flow in the tongue.
- In case you have white spots on the tongue or roof of the mouth, gargle thrice a day with tea tree oil. Used as a weapon against infections caused by bacteria, virus and fungi, tea tree oil is highly effective for treating such swelling. However, do not consume tea tree oil directly as it can cause hallucinations.
- Rinse your mouth with honey for faster healing of the inflamed taste buds. You can otherwise eat honey as well.
- Combine garlic, ginger and pepper. Form a pill or dilute it in soup and have it 3 to 4 times a day to reduce the infection caused by inflamed taste buds.
- In case you have developed burns on your tongue, eat ice chips, soft and cold foods to relieve pain and inflammation. These foods also prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Apply glycerin to the swollen area of the tongue in case the swelling is caused due to an infected cut or biting.