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Dental and Oral Health Center

Swollen taste buds



I have seen a doctor for this and she advised me that the quite visible swollen knots on the very back of my tounge are my taste buds. They are quite visible and rub on the sides of my throat, causing me to cough a lot. Is there a cure? Is this diagnosis of swollen taste buds the truth?


The large papilla on the back of the tongue are in fact taste buds. They are fairly large and can become inflamed and appear larger. It is unlikely that your taste buds are rubbing on the side of your throat and causing you to cough. It is more likely that some other condition is present that is causing your coughing. It is possible that you may have swollen tissue in the tonsil area that could contribute to that. Visit your physician to see if this is the case. If you do not receive a satisfactory explanation, seeing an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist might help.

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Response by:

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