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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Red Lump on Each Side of My Tongue



i been to two doctors i have on each side of my toung near the rea side i have a red bump what could it be


Without being able to examine your tongue, I can only guess what you are describing.


Since you have had this evaluated by two physicians and they were not overly concerned, this may be nothing more than an anatomical variation or normal presentation of foliate papilla. Since these are occurring bilaterally, on the posterior lateral border of the tongue, that is the site for these structures. They normally appear as 4-10 parallel ridges and have a “leaf like” appearance (hence the term foliate).  The red coloration may be a variation of normal as these are usually white pink in color. The papillas have some taste buds located within their main body.


There is also another type of papilla on the posterior aspect of the tongue known as the vallate papilla. The large 8-12 circular projections can appear as red bumps and have multiple taste buds located within them again a normal occurring structure of the oral cavity.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University