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"Pimple" on My Tongue

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This is a page about having a "pimple" on your tongue. A small sore on your tongue can be very irritating and you want to clear it up as soon as possible.


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I get these painful red or white pimples on the tip of my tongue after I've had alcohol mixed with either soda or apple juice. I also get them after several beers. Drinking a lot of soda on its own causes these. They hurt.

This has only recently started and I want to be able to drink things. Does anyone else have this same problem and know how to make them stop?

By Ethen from Dayton, OH


April 6, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

They are swollen taste buds. They come when the acid/Ph balance of the stomach is upset. Believe it or not, but when there isn't enough hydrochloric acid (HCl) production in the stomach, which neutralizes many things we eat. It also detoxifies many things. Acids that come from foods that are actually the same as waste acids our body produces in normal biological processes. It's when the system is overloaded, without enough HCl to detox, that the acid/Ph balance gets messed up and this taste bud thing happens.


It also causes cold sores and canker sores. Betaine hydrochloride can help the stomach produce more HCl.

What I do for those swollen taste buds, which for me last many days, is take a (now don't get squeamish) cuticle clippers, an enlarging mirror and clip that taste bud off (it's always just one taste bud). It hurts for a few seconds, but then it stops and no more sore thing on my tongue driving me crazy with pain.

I've had these things come up now and then for decades. But when they do, I know my stomach is involved, then I do something about my stomach.

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September 30, 2009

Do you ever get a "pimple" on your tongue that is small, but painful and usually last only a few days? Anyone know what causes them? I have had one now for over a month and it's painful 24/7. It's a little larger than they usually are, but it's not huge.


I know I should be swishing my mouth with salt water, but I hate it. Makes me gag. My dentist wants me to see an oral surgeon and have it removed. That sure sounds painful. Is there anything else anyone can suggest besides warm salt water? I sure would love to know what causes them.

Donna from MD


"Pimple" On My Tongue

These pimples are a form of mouth sore. Some people get them with no explanation though they can be a sign of diabetes. My doctor gave me a steroid cream. Tastes awful, but works. Ask your doctor about an oral steroid cream. (12/22/2005)

By BarwickJ

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Trust your dentist, go to your doctor to rule out anything dangerous. Our doctor suggested vitamin C for our daughter and it worked. Eating lemons and oranges seems to help prevent them.

Love and prayers.


By Linda Howe

"Pimple" On My Tongue

We always dab it with baking soda. However, I concur that the oral surgeon is the best way to go. He is a medical doctor who will examine your mouth. Perhaps it is a viral thing that will keep coming back. Better to be sure. (12/23/2005)


By Carol

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I used to get them all the time along with canker sores. They can sometimes be caused by the type of toothpaste you use. I discovered a few years ago that if I use toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a detergent and foaming agent, that I eliminate a majority of my tongue pimples (inflamed taste buds) and canker sores.

I am currently suffering from a bad outbreak of both right now because I tried Biotin, which says it doesn't have SLS, but must have something similar and possibly even worse in it (worst outbreak ever). I have used toothpastes by Jason, Nature's Gate, Weleda, basically any hippy toothpaste that you can find in a natural foods store like Whole Foods. It also doesn't seem to matter if the toothpaste has fluoride in it. Jason has toothpastes with and without fluoride and they all work great without the bad side effects.


I hope this helps. I have also heard people say to try Milk of Magnesia and/or peroxide. Haven't tried these myself, but will probably before the end of the day. Good luck.


Mel (07/17/2006)

By Mel

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Why not use Zilactin-B? You can get it at major stores. Visit (08/23/2006)

By Kim

"Pimple" On My Tongue

But a bottle of gly-oxycide at the drug store and follow the instructions. The stuff works great in just a couple of days unless it is something more serious. (10/13/2006)

By Nancy

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I've had these, actually I have them right now, and I know it's something I ate, I take benadryl every night and it helps it go away. They get smaller and smaller until finally their gone. (12/30/2006)

By Carri

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Here's some info I found on a question and answer site. The answer was posted by a doctor. I hope it's okay to post it here:


"A tongue pimple is a great way to describe it, but it is probably an inflamed papilla, or taste bud. Eating too many tomatoes, citrus, or other acidic foods; pokes from a food that has a sharp edge like a chip or pretzel; or a tiny puncture from broken dental work can trigger the micro-irritation that leads to a swollen bump.

Within about five days, it will go away on its own, but until it does, resist the urge to check on it to see if it's still there by rubbing your tongue against your teeth. To soothe the soreness, try rinsing with warm salt-water 2-3 times a day or dab the bump with a milk of magnesia-soaked cotton swab to create an acid-neutralizing barrier. While the bump is healing, stick with a soft diet and steer clear of anything potentially irritating, like acidic, hot or spicy foods. If your tender taste bud doesn't shrink back to normal within ten days, see your doctor or dentist."


By Donna

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Have you all ever thought that maybe the white dots on your tongue or the side of the tongue can be a symptom of HIV? Not to scare any of you, but that is a sign of the HIV virus.


By Toronto

"Pimple" On My Tongue

The pimple on your tongue is a swollen taste bud. It can be caused from acidic foods, such as tomatoes or citrus; or an allergic reaction to foods that you might not even be allergic to, such as nuts or chocolate. Another cause is a virus that you got from just about anywhere as many people host it, (although not all are bothered by it) and the first time it manifests itself is the worst and sometimes causes a fever. Then it lives forever in your nerves and lies dormant until brought out by eating the foods above, having trauma in your mouth (such as biting your tongue or going to the dentist) or your immune system gets run down (lots of stress, not enough sleep and poor diet). The virus is a part of the herpes family, although I don't remember the exact name. It is related to cold sores, fever blisters, canker sores, and a cousin of shingles and chicken pox. I'm not saying it's related to the herpes std, but
probably is from the same family too. But definitely not the same thing.

Biting or pinching it off may offer some relief to the pressure, but not advised. Keeping your mouth clean with brushing and mouthwash is good. Swishing with salt water can also provide relief and kill germs. Baby or adult strength numbing gels may help with the pain, but don't taste good and numb your taste too. You can take Tylenol or Motrin for the pain which works longer. The bumps usually last a couple days to a week and usually reoccur in the same
spots. The best healing agent and preventative is getting enough rest, and close seconds are drinking lots of water and eating a balanced diet. Yogurt may soothe them and my mother-in law
recommends acidophilus and echinacea. You may want to explore other immunity boosters or body cleansers. Good luck. (10/08/2007)

By Sarah

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Added to below, the info is just my family's experience. My mom also uses 1:1 benadryl liquid to kaopectate to soothe and dry it out. But an important thing I've noticed is that there seems to be many causes and different sores. The long-lasting or recurrent sores need to be checked by a doctor. (10/08/2007)

By Sarah

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I also frequently have one or two small white "pimples" under my tongue. I recently used an "anti-bacterial tongue spray" and it works quite well. It's sort of painful for 2-3 minutes, but then the pain completely disappears for several hours. The spray I use is called Breathrx.

By Seb

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I associate pimples on my tongue with having a dirty stomach I call it. Drink lots of fluid and brush your teeth extra times a day. If this does not work you can ask your doctor for a prescription for "magic mouthwash" which consists of maalox, children's benadryl, and lidocaine. Your pharmacist mixes them together and boom. The magic starts. (03/20/2008)

By Beknown

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I have found that washing my mouth with baking soda before bed helps me. The bumps aren't as big or painful in the morning. (05/16/2008)

By Karen

"Pimple" On My Tongue

My two pimples were on the tip of my tongue, just on the bottom side. They finally started to feel better after 5 days, and then it took another 5 days for them to go away completely. I just did warm salt water rinses, and also Listerine rinses several times a day. I have since incorporated Listerine into my daily regimen, what the heck. (07/15/2008)

By Guest Post

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I had this sort of problem a few times. My mother advised me to apply honey or glycerin on the affected part of my tongue. I did, and it helped a lot. Yes, I got rid rid of them within a couple of days. Hope it will help you. Good luck.

By Kavita

"Pimple" On My Tongue

It's just a swollen taste bud caused by citrus acids or sweets. (09/27/2008)

By Mike

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Get them checked out by your doctor to make sure it's not cancer first. My dentist prescribed for me a dental paste that has a steroid in it. It not only helped it heal, but it provided a protective coating so at night it could it wouldn't be exposed to the bacteria in your mouth. Healed it up in a couple of days. I think something (stress/dehydration/bad diet) causes a gland, taste bud or salivation gland, to swell, which then rubs up against my teeth and turns into a sore/infection that's just hard to heal in the environment of the mouth.

Doc also said to stay away from booze and mouth wash with alcohol, said to use 50/50 mix of peroxide and water to rinse with often especially after meals and drink a ton of water. I did all this and it cleared up in a few days (11/11/2008)

By Pete

"Pimple" On My Tongue

I have been getting these sores for years I take Zovirax and they go away in a day. The cause is the herpes virus. (04/22/2009)

By mike

"Pimple" On My Tongue

Pimples can occur on any part of the body including lips, tongue, butts, face, etc. Pimples have their physical and emotional effects. Pimples on tongue are not so common location of pimples, but if it occurs, you shouldn't pop a pimple that's on your tongue because the bacteria from inside the pimple would spread around your mouth and cause a much larger outbreak.

You cannot apply the traditional cleansers or topical ointments to your tongue in an effort to treat the pimple since you wouldn't want to ingest the product. There is the option of oral
antibiotics, but for a simple pimple or two the doctor often won't prescribe the medication unless the outbreak is serious.

Causes of Pimples on Tongue

Treatment options for Pimples on Tongue


By Rebecca Gallagher

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