What causes lie bumps on your tongue?

Updated November 21, 2016

Bumps on a tongue being a result of lying is an old wives' tale, but they are real, nonetheless, and can be painful. These so-called lie bumps are small and typically white in colour, though they can be red when very inflamed. Why they develop is not completely understood, and there are also not many known ways to get rid of them---except to wait.

Fungiform papillae are mushroom-shaped projections on the tongue that house the taste buds, and when they become inflamed the pain starts. Some doctors believe this is caused by a virus that makes it into the mouth and infects these projections.

Other possible causes include certain foods, stress, vitamin deficiency and indigestion. If it is a recurring problem, pay attention to what you eat and when the bumps occur to try to figure out what foods to avoid. If they are brought on by stress, vitamin deficiency or indigestion the condition most likely will have to run its course before the bumps will disappear. Doctors recommend gargling with salt water to help reduce pain and swelling.


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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.