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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Red bumps on tip and side of tongue...



A few days ago, I started feeling pain on my tongue when I ate certain foods, and lately it has become worse. I checked my tongue in the mirror, and I have red bumps around the tip, and sides on my tongue (they are quite painful too). I have read online that it could be from allergies acting up. And yes, mine have been. I was just curious to know the truth, and to make sure it was something worse, like an STD or something else.


Painful red bumps on the tip and sides of your tongue could be due to many different things most of which are benign and self limiting.  Have them checked by your local dentist especially if they do not heal up quickly.

These could most likely be sores similar to cold sores.  They usually arise when you eat certain acidic or spicy foods.  They are usually self limiting and will go away when you stop eating the foods.  They are not a true allergy and there are other factors which may increase their frequency and the degree of outbreak.  Stress is one thing that will make the episodes worse.  As a result you may eat the particular food one time without a reaction and eat it a second time and have a reaction.  If these persist or get worse, visit your dentist and have them examined.

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Response by:

David Lee Hall, DDS David Lee Hall, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University