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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Inflamed taste buds



I have painfully inflamed taste buds - mostly on the front of my tongue. The condition started all at once about 4 days ago with dozens of swollen taste buds, but I otherwise feel fine. Eating is somewhat painful (high sensitivity to temperature and spice) and the taste of the food is diminished. I`m concerned that I might have some illness and I hope that I`m not contagious.


There could be a few reasons for the inflamed taste buds. The most common reason for them is a local irritation. This can be from certain foods (Sour Patch Kids or other sour things are very common) or rough foods that may have abraded your tongue (chips or pizza). It can also be caused by a rough area on a tooth.

If you can think of any food or abrasion that may have occurred, give it a few more days to heal. It can take 7-10 days for them to heal. Keep in mind that a sharp tooth would be a constant irritant and would need to be fixed to allow your tongue to heal.

If you do not believe that it is a tooth, wait a few days. If it does not heal in this time, contact your dentist for further evaluation.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University