How to Get Rid of Lie Bumps: The Most Effective Home Remedies

How to Get Rid of Lie Bumps: The Most Effective Home Remedies

Lie bumps are another name for swollen inflamed taste buds that cause painful bumps to appear on the tongue. The medical name for lie bumps on the tongue is transient lingual papillitis (TLP). The swollen bumps on the tongue are actually an inflammatory condition affecting the thousands of papillae that contain your taste buds. Any inflammation of these taste buds will cause discomfort, pain and can affect your sense of taste.

There are many reasons why lie bumps appear on your tongue and cause irritation and discomfort. Some of the most common reasons for lie bumps are foods or drinks that irritate the delicate surface of your tongue. So, spicy or acidic food or burning your tongue with something hot can cause bumps to appear on it. Or, other conditions like allergies, stress, and vitamin B deficiencies can all affect your tongue, causing inflammation and lie bumps.


Dermatologists say that lie bumps usually go away on their own or when the underlying cause has been addressed (i.e. in cases of stress or allergies). However, there are many effective home remedies for lie bumps that will help get rid of them quicker. So, using ice, cool plain yogurt, honey, or drinking cool liquids will help to soothe the irritation. Other natural treatments like rinsing with salt or baking soda can help kill off any infection and at the same time reduce inflammation.

What are Lie Bumps?

On the surface of your tongue are 2,000 – 8,000 taste bud receptors.12 These tiny flat, pink papillae are barely noticeable but they play an important role in your sense of taste. They help you taste sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter flavors in food and drink. Because the tongue is very sensitive, your taste buds can be easily damaged and inflamed. This can result in a pain or a burning or tingling sensation on your tongue.

The name “lie bumps” is actually from an old myth that telling lies would cause bumps on the tongue to appear. Fortunately, medical research has found the truth behind the reason why small, pimple-like bumps appear on your tongue.

Causes of Lie Bumps and How to Get Rid of Them

The first step to getting rid of lie bumps and soothing the discomfort on your tongue is to know what causes them. Here are some of the most common reasons for swollen taste buds on the tip, sides, and surface of your tongue.

Tongue injury

A very common reason for lie bumps is injuring your tongue in one way or another. Damage to the sensitive tissue on your tongue can cause inflammation and make your taste buds become swollen.


Burning your tongue is a common type of tongue injury that can irritate your taste buds and cause lie bumps. Depending on the severity of the burn, you could damage other parts of your mouth and the burn can cause tissue to come off the surface of your tongue, gums, or inner cheek. Easing the pain of a burnt tongue will also help to get relief from the discomfort of swollen taste buds.

A journal on oral surgery also said that chronic irritation to your tongue could also cause lie bumps to appear. The researchers found that people who habitually thrust their tongue through their lips, or who have cracks in their tongue, commonly experience lie bumps.1

Other tongue injuries resulting in swollen and inflamed taste bud can be caused by ill-fitting dentures, damaging your tongue while brushing your teeth, or biting your tongue.

Acidic or spicy foods can irritate taste buds

Another way to irritate your taste buds and cause lie bumps on your tongue is eating spicy or acidic foods. It seems that the tongues of some people are more affected by spicy or acidic foods than others.

The British Journal of Dermatology reported that people who have allergies can suffer from lie bumps more often than those who don’t. The researchers found that many people who have skin allergies also report frequent irritation of the tongue. So, certain foods that irritate the papillae or burn the taste buds cause inflammation and bumps on the tongue.2

If you find that small bumps appear frequently on your tongue’s surface for no obvious reason, you could keep a food diary. That may help to identify any acidic or spicy foods, or even citrus fruits that cause inflammation on your tongue and lie bumps. Cutting these foods from your diet should help to get rid of the swollen taste buds for good.

Eczema or asthma

If you have eczema or asthma you may find that lie bumps often appear on your tongue. The British Journal of Dermatology, also found that inflammation of the tongue resulting in swollen taste buds is common among eczema and asthma sufferers.2

Food allergy

An allergic reaction to certain foods could cause tongue inflammation and make lie bumps appear. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on, allergic reactions that make your tongue swell can become a medical emergency. If you experience difficult breathing because your tongue has swollen after eating certain foods, you should seek medical help immediately.3

A less severe symptom of a food allergy is lie bumps on your tongue. The journal Pediatric Dentistry found that food allergies can trigger an inflammatory response in the tongue. This causes the taste buds to become inflamed and bumps to appear on the tongue.4


To prevent food allergies causing lie bumps, you should eliminate foods from your diet that trigger allergic responses.

Stress can cause lie bumps

Stress can affect us all in different ways. For some people, stress causes painful tongue bumps that can affect their sense of taste. The reason that stress can cause your taste buds to become irritated is that stress lowers your immune system.

Dermatologist, Dr. Dyall-Smith says that stress can trigger lie bumps and can be a reason why inflamed bumps appear on your tongue.5

There are many natural ways to get rid of stress and help prevent lie bumps from causing you discomfort. For example, you can use some essential oils for stress relief. Some of the most effective oils for getting rid of anxiety are lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and lemongrass.

Viral infection connected with lie bumps

Inflamed taste bud receptors could be the result of a viral infection. Doctors who researched the causes of lie bumps have found that swelling of the taste buds is common among members of the same family.

For example, the British Journal of Dermatology reported on studies showing that, children are susceptible to viruses and lie bumps. However, very often, other members in the same family also suffered from recurrent episodes of inflamed taste buds.6

Other studies into the possibility that viral infections can cause inflammation in the taste buds have shown that the herpes simplex virus 1 can cause lie bumps.7 Herpes simplex virus 1 is also one of the causes of bumps on lips.

Vitamin B deficiencies

Inflammation on your tongue and the appearance of whitish pimple-like bumps can be a sign of a vitamin B deficiencies. A lack of vitamin B in the body can cause problems in your nervous, digestive, and vascular system. Vitamin B is also essential for the production of red blood cells in your body.

A connection has been found between a vitamin B deficiencies and bumps and ulcers in your mouth. The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research reported that a lack of vitamin B causes tongue inflammation, mouth ulcers, angular cheilitis (cracks at the corner of your mouth), and sore throats. The journal specifically mentioned vitamin B12 deficiency as well as vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiencies.


A healthy diet is essential to making sure that you get enough vitamins and minerals from food sources. Foods that are rich in vitamin B are most meats, seafood, dairy products, and eggs. If you can’t consume these types of foods, then make sure that you eat foods fortified with vitamin B or take vitamin B supplements.

This should help to prevent bumps on your tongues caused by a vitamin deficiency.

Smoking or alcohol

Your taste buds can become irritated because of smoking or drinking alcohol. The smoke from cigarettes contains many irritating and harmful chemicals that can severely irritate your sensitive taste buds. Alcohol is also an irritant that can result in lie bumps on your tongue.

The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry found that taste bud inflammation is caused by excessive smoking and consumption of alcohol.9

Quitting smoking is essential to get rid of lie bumps and to improve your health in general. You should also limit your intake of alcohol to prevent damage to your health.

Most Effective Remedies for Lie Bumps

If you are bothered by small or large bumps on your tongue, there are many effective home remedies that can give you needed relief. In many cases, lie bumps cause a great deal of pain and discomfort and can make eating food an irksome experience.

Here are some very effective home remedies to treat lie bumps and soothe the inflammation.

Saline mouth rinse

Rinsing your mouth with a salt water solution is an effective remedy for getting rid of lie bumps. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent and can help reduce oral swelling. Salt helps to reduce inflammation on your tongue and it will kill off any bacteria in your mouth that could cause an infection.

In fact, most dermatologists recommend a saline mouth rinse to get relief from inflamed bumps on your tongue.5

How to use:

To make a salt water rinse to treat lie bumps, this is what you should do:

  • Mix 1 tsp. salt in a glass of warm water (8 oz.) until the salt has dissolved
  • Swish the salt solution around your mouth for 30 seconds and spit out.
  • If you have bumps at the back of your tongue, you could also gargle the saline solution.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times a day to reduce tongue inflammation get rid of your lie bumps for good.

Baking soda

Baking soda is another natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory remedy for getting rid of lie bumps. There are two ways you can use baking soda to reduce tongue inflammation. You can apply a paste directly to the affected area on your tongue or you can use baking soda as a mouth rinse to reduce inflammation in your taste buds.


Many dentists recommend baking soda as a natural remedy for various inflammatory conditions in your mouth. The journal Dental Clinics of North America recommend mixing baking soda in water and swishing it around your mouth to relieve inflammation and treat mouth ulcers.10

How to use:

To make an anti-inflammatory mouth wash with baking soda, this is what you should do:

  • Dissolve 1/2 – 1 tsp. baking soda in a glass of warm water.
  • Rinse your mouth with the baking soda remedy several times a day to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
  • Use the baking soda rinse until you no longer have any lie bumps.

To make a baking soda paste to reduce swollen taste buds, please do this:

  • Using a little water, form a thick paste with 1 tsp. baking soda.
  • Apply the baking soda paste to the irritated lie bumps and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse your mouth with clean water.
  • Apply the remedy 1-2 times a day until the inflammation has gone and you no longer have bumps on your tongue.


Honey contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an effective natural treatment for bumps on your tongue.

The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine reported that honey has powerful medicinal properties. Among these are that honey helps to kill off bacterial infections and repair damaged skin tissue.11 Honey will also leave a soothing protective layer on your tongue to help your lie bumps heal faster.

How to use:

To use honey as a natural remedy for lie bumps, this is what you should do:

  • Put some honey on the affected area on your tongue and leave for a few minutes.
  • Repeat the honey remedy 3-4 times a day to help get rid of tongue bumps and help soothe the inflammation.
  • Continue applying the honey until your swollen taste buds are gone for good.

Raw, plain yogurt

Apply raw, plain yogurt to your tongue to soothe inflammation and to quickly get rid of the discomfort lie bumps cause.

Plain yogurt contains probiotics which are live bacteria that can help to keep your mouth bacteria in balance. This can help to prevent infections in your mouth and heal your swollen taste buds. The cooling effect of yogurt also helps to soothe pain and discomfort from the inflamed tissue on your tongue.

All you have to do is slowly eat a few spoons of plain yogurt and let it soothe your irritated tongue and heal the lie bumps.


To help numb the pain on your tongue, use some ice to ease the discomfort of lie bumps. It’s very easy to use this natural remedy to heal an inflamed tongue.

Just take an ice cube or a frozen popsicle and suck on it to get rid of the discomfort of tongue bumps. Even eating some ice cream will give you relief from swollen taste buds.

If you don’t have anything frozen to use, you can slowly drink cool liquids to get rid of the irritation that bumps on your tongue cause. This has the added advantage of keeping yourself hydrated and easing mouth pain at the same time.

How to Prevent Lie Bump Irritation

The natural remedies for lie bumps will help to quickly heal pain and discomfort from your tongue. However, you also need to prevent lie bumps from getting even more irritated or becoming infected.

You should never try to cut off or scrape away inflamed lie bumps. This can cause a lot of bleeding which can be difficult to stop. Any cuts or scrapes to your tongue can also cause a secondary infection.

While your taste buds are inflamed, prevent further irritation by avoiding eating citrus, sour, spicy or acidic foods until your lie bumps have gone completely.

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Article Sources:
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  2. Br J Dermato 2005 Oct;153(4):740-5.
  3. MedicineNet. Swollen tongue.
  4. Pediatr Dent. 2001 Nov-Dec;23(6):506-7.
  5. DermNetNZ. Transient lingual papillitis.
  6. Br J Dermatol. 2004 Feb;150(2):299-303.
  7. Pediatr Dermatol. 2014 Nov-Dec;31(6):e124-5.
  8. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Jan; 7(1): 178–180.
  9. J Clin Exp Dent. 2017 Jan; 9(1): e157–e162.
  10. Dent Clin North Am. 2008 Jan; 52(1): 61–viii.
  11. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.
  12. Encyclopædia Britannica. Taste bud

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