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Mouth Diseases

Lie bumps

04/26/2005

Question:

I have "lie bumps" on my tongue. This week they are on the tip; last week they were closer to the back. I have IBS and frequently do not have a movement but once every 5 days. Are the two related? Is there anything I can do to relieve the pain on my tongue these bumps are causing?

Answer:

The fancy name for "lie bumps" is transient lingual papillitis. 

Basically this condition represents a mild inflammation of some of the tiny bumps on the upper surface of the tongue.  These particular bumps contain some of the taste buds of the tongue and because of this, they contain a lot of nerves.  Even a little inflammation causes these bumps to hurt much more than their size would indicate.

Currently, the cause of transient lingual papillitis is unknown, and there is no effective treatment besides numbing or covering agents.  But there has been no association with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

Hope this helps. 

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University