How do you get rid of swollen, inflamed and infected taste buds? Discover simple remedies to heal them when they are swollen and or inflamed in this article.
Taste buds or otherwise known as gustatory cells are taste receptors found in little bumps known as papillae. The papillae that give the surface of the tongue its texture. Their function is included in their name, the little guys help us make distinctions between tastes. They are adapted to sense different tastes. Those towards the back of the tongue pick up bitter tastes, those on the sides of the tongue are equipped to pick up the sour tastes, the tip of the tongue detects sweet tastes.
It is normal not to be aware of your taste buds, even when they are busy helping you enjoy your food. Sometimes though, they can become swollen inflamed or infected making us all too aware of them. Sometimes it is just one or two of them that that are infected, but if you are unfortunate, the whole tongue could be painful because whole sections are inflamed. If you are looking for taste loss causes, you found one of the reasons is gustatory cells inflammation.
Typically, one loses the sense of taste in the part with the infection. For example, if it is on the side of the tongue, one may temporarily be unable to taste sourness. If it is in the back of the tongue, then it is the ability to fully taste bitter that is affected.
Inflamed taste buds will be painful, swollen, or appear a little raised red bumps on the tongue. Other symptoms are enlarged papillae and sensitivity when taking hot, spicy or salty foods and drinks.
There are several reasons you could get an infection on the gustatory cells.
8 Potential causes of infected taste buds
The following could leave you with a gustatory cells infection.
1. Certain Procedures and therapies
You may notice some swelling or inflammation of your papillae when you are under certain treatments like chemotherapy. It could also happen after some surgical procedures like laryngectomy.
2. Trauma/ Injury to the tongue
This could be caused by biting; hitting against teeth, rubbing against braces and anything else that can injure the tongue. The gustatory cells in the injured part of your papillae may become infected.
They can become inflamed after the tongue comes into contact with certain allergens. The inflamed ones could then develop an infection.
These attack most of the membranes of the tongue. If the ulcers are on the tongue, some papillae could get infected and consequently the gustatory cells.
5.Hot food and drinks
Taking food or drink at very high temperatures can be bad news for your tongue. Not only do they irritate the tongue but burnt taste buds are exposed to infections.
These include thrush which leaves a whitish rash or spots on the tongue.
7.Transient Lingual Papillitis
This condition mainly causes them to become enlarged. It also does not cause an infection per se. But if you tinker with one of the enlarged papillae you could open it up to infection.
Oral cancers can cause chronic infections on papillae in rare cases. There will be other worrying symptoms like bleeding, bad breath and a sore throat that will not go away, so not panic at the first sign of infection on the papillae.
Care tips and treatment.
Now that we have established what causes infections, we can go into the best ways to get rid of them. There are a couple of things you will have to stop doing to help heal inflamed ones.
1.Keep your hands off your tongue
It may be tempting to prick or poke or squeeze or touch the swollen taste buds. But by all means, do not give in as this is likely to irritate your tongue increasing their pain not to mention introduce new bacteria.
2. Avoid smoking, drinking
Smoking, drinking and consuming highly acidic and spicy foods may prevent the infection on your tongue from healing fast. Stop it at least for the duration you are trying to treat their inflammation.
Natural cures for taste bud infection
There are also some easy but effective home remedies for infected buds.
Yogurt is known to work well to bring relief for mouth infections where bacteria are involved. If you have a gustatory cells infection as a side serving of thrush, regularly taking some cold unsweetened natural yogurt may give you the relief you are seeking.
Ice is known to bring relief to pain like on bruises and welts. It will also work to soothe a painful tongue due to infection of the taste buds. Just apply an ice cube or ice chips on the enlarged papillae for a little bit. Do not leave it too long as you may disrupt blood flow to the area though. You will welcome the numbness from the ice and notice any swelling will go down.
We are banking on honey’s strong antibacterial properties to help get rid of the infection on the tongue. To use honey as a swollen papillae treatment, just swish some in your mouth twice a day.
Place a small amount of baking soda on the infected buds and leave it on.This remedy may require you to hold your tongue out for a little but the effort and patience will be worth it as this remedy is known to cool painful taste buds fast.
Basic old table salt can work as a good remedy to treat inflamed ones. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Gargle with this solution thrice a day to cure inflamed them naturally.
6. Gargle with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a great remedy for several skin conditions. It has strong anti-bacterial properties which make it perfect for as an infected papillae treatment. Mix a few drops in warm water, shake in a bottle and use the solution.