Transient Lingual Papillitis

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Transient lingual papillitis also called as ‘Lie Bumps’ are usually small red or white bumps which normally occur on the tongue and cause much discomfort. The bump on tongue is usually common among people and goes off quickly. For some people the white bump on tongue goes off without any treatment after 2 or 3 days. Read More

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Transient Lingual Papillitis

Transient Lingual Papillitis vs. Eruptive Lingual Papillitis:

Transient lingual papillitis or sore bump on tongue usually goes away by itself in few days. However, If a person experiences various additional symptoms, then they may usually have another condition which is called eruptive lingual papillitis. Painful white bump on tip of tongue usually looks the same as transient lingual papillitis, when it comes to eruptive lingual papillitis. Eruptive lingual papillitis is different from transient lingual papillitis in the following ways:

  • It last up to 2 weeks
  • It might be caused by virus
  • It is usually contagious
  • It causes swollen glands
  • It will be accompanied with fever

Diagnosis and Treatment of Papillitis:

The diagnosis and treatment procedures for papillitis are as follows:

Prior to the treatment:

  • Doctor or your dentist usually examine the bumps on tongue and will likely diagnose them based on the appearance alone.
  • Your doctor may advise you to take a biopsy, if he or she is actually unsure if the bump on tongue is a lie bump or from a different condition such as HPV or Human Papillomavirus
  • In order to test and examine under a microscope, your doctor will numb your tongue using a local anaesthetic and remove a small section of the bump

During the Treatment:

Though most of transient lingual papillitis case goes away by its own and doesn’t require medical attention, your doctor advise you to take the following treatment at home:

  • Rinsing and gargling your mouth with salt water frequently
  • Brushing your teeth twice daily
  • Using mouthwash in order to get rid of the harmful bacteria in the mouth
  • Avoiding irritating and spicy foods. Rather eating blander and smooth foods that may be beneficial
  • Taking OTC topical treatments such as Zilactin that cover the bumps just like the bandage that is protecting them from friction which could irritate it further

Prognosis, Post-treatment and Recovery:

  • Home remedies and treatment usually help the recovery process faster
  • Avoid eating foods that trigger papillitis are often advised not to be taken by your doctor
  • Papillitis usually recovers itself without any kind of medical treatment or attention in a couple of days


The most common symptoms of transient lingual papillitis or lie bumps are as follows:

  • Painful red or white bump on tongue
  • Itchy feeling
  • Pimples on tongue
  • Tingly feeling
  • Swollen tongue
  • Irritation
  • Burning sensation


The most common causes of transient lingual papillitis or lie bumps are as follows:

  • Spicy or high acidic foods
  • Sugar
  • Food allergies
  • Trauma (Even biting the tongue)
  • Gastrointestinal complications (Constipation included)
  • Stress (Causing inflammatory response)
  • Burning the tongue
  • Asthma or eczema
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Alcohol or smoking

It is understood that lie bump on the tongue are caused especially when a small fleshy papillae that is present on the tongue becomes irritated. The papillae are usually where the taste buds are present. When they get irritated, your tongue swells and form bumps.

If the pimples on tongue are not caused due to transient or eruptive papillitis, then the other potential causes actually include:

HPV or Human Papillomavirus: It is usually a viral infection which is spread by skin-to-skin contact. HPV can cause warts. It also affects genitals or throat or mouth.

Canker sores: They are usually painful red sores which often occur anywhere in the mouth. They are actually not contagious. Canker sores normally get better without any treatment within a matter of 10 days

Syphilis: It is sexually transmitted infection, where the early symptoms usually appear in the mouth

Mouth Cancer: These rare lumps in the mouth are a type of cancer that occurs towards the side of the tongue rather than the top.

Scarlet fever: It is a type of bacterial infection where the appearance of red bumps on the tongue is usually the symptoms

Traumatic fibroma: It is a smooth and pink growth on the tongue. Traumatic fibroma is mainly caused due to chronic irritation and it usually may need to be surgically removed.

Lymphoepithelial cysts: It is a soft yellow cyst or white bump under tongue. They are normally not harmful, and their cause is unknown.


1. How to get rid of white bumps on tongue or transient lingual papillitis? (bump on tongue remedy)

Salt water mouth rinsing regularly, have soothing foods like yoghurt, take topical steroids, consume cold fluids and lastly take antiseptic or local anesthetic mouthwashes.

2. How long does transient lingual papillitis last?

Transient lingual papillitis usually lasts for a couple of days. And it goes away by its own most of the times

3. Why do I have a bump on my tongue?

Usually, a bump or bubble on tongue appear after an injury from a bite with your own teeth or from irritation especially from hot foods.

4. What causes acid bumps on tongue?

Acid bumps more likely occur in individuals who eat food that is highly acidic including fruits and vegetables) and also sugary foods.

5. What is lingual tonsils bumps?

Lingual tonsils bumps are usually yellowish beige bumps that can be seen on the top of the back part of the tongue. It may at times can also be seen towards the sides of the tongue. These collections of lymphoid tissue or tonsils bumps can vary in size, and normally may enlarge when someone has a cold or flu.