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Dental and Oral Health Center

Bumps and soreness on tongue

07/31/2008

Question:

I have had some really bad stomach issues and acid reflux and I am wondering if the bumps on my tongue can be caused from that. On the front of the tongue there are no bumps but the tongue is really sore and burns when I eat and drink certain things but there are bumps on the back of my tongue. When I brush my tongue it sometimes bleeds and the toothpaste really burns it.

Answer:

It is highly unlikely that your stomach problems are related to your tongue complaints. The bumps on the back of your tongue probably represent the circumvallate papillae, which are normal anatomic structures. Most people don't notice them because they usually don't have a reason to closely inspect that area.

The burning sensation of the front of your tongue probably represents burning mouth syndrome, and more can information can be found at the links below. Burning mouth syndrome should not bleed, however. You may want to see an oral pathologist for further evaluation.

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome
Oral Conditions - Information for Patients (AAOMP)

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health Center health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University