Tiny Tongue Sores
January 11, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Every once in a while I get these very very small white-ish sores on my tongue. They hurt like crazy - especially if I eat sugars or citruses. What are these things and what can I do to get rid of them?

PS: I read the post about canker sores - if that's what this is then I'll just go with the advice from that post; however, this seems to be different. The things I'm talking about are very small bumps, white-ish, on the side or tip of the tongue. They pop up every few months and last for 4-5 days.
posted by crapples to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like tiny little canker sores (herpetiform shape) to me.
posted by gramcracker at 8:10 PM on January 11, 2006

I get those too for several days whenever I eat anything strongly cinnamon flavored. I've never really looked into what they are. I just avoid cinnamon stuff.
posted by zixyer at 8:16 PM on January 11, 2006

I get those from sugary or acidic foods, I pretty much can't eat citrus fruit. Ice kind of numbs it a bit.
posted by fshgrl at 8:33 PM on January 11, 2006

My mother used to call this having infected taste buds. Google research seems to indicate that that's an old wives tale, however.
posted by charmston at 8:38 PM on January 11, 2006

I get those every now and then--I imagine everyone does. In high school I had braces and they would show up pretty regularly--they can hurt like a mother. I remember hearing a long time ago someone said they were a type of ulcer--don't know if that's accurate, tho.
posted by zardoz at 8:56 PM on January 11, 2006

I don't know what they are, but they are nothing like the canker sores I get (doesn't mean they aren't a different form of the same thing, though). Their a real nuisance, but I don't get them very often.

My wife also gets them from cinnamon. My (hispanic) wife and mother-in-law call them "granos" (spelling?), and the myth is that you get them when you want a food really bad, but don't get it.
posted by teece at 9:10 PM on January 11, 2006

If I eat a tremendous amount of Haw Flakes (like over a pound in a day) this happens to me, and for a few days it hurts to lick anything, and then it goes away.
posted by aubilenon at 9:16 PM on January 11, 2006

I get them occasionally - they hurt like a bastard when touched and seem to be constantly banging into my teeth - and believe they are ulcers. Apparently they result from a vitamin B deficiency.
posted by polyglot at 9:18 PM on January 11, 2006

I get those too. I'm not sure if they're from a vitamin B deficiency, though - I take a multivitamin every day and also another smaller vitamin B pill, and I have a bit of trouble believing I'm deficient.
posted by ubersturm at 9:51 PM on January 11, 2006

I've had these a few times. My mom (and when I got old enough, I'd do it myself) used to ice my tongue to numb it, then she'd VERY CAREFULLY clip just the sore off with a pair of fingernail clippers.

You can do this with almost no pain, and very little bleeding, if you're careful enough. I've found that the sores are only attached by a very thin membrane. If you accidentally clip yourself, the cut will heal much faster than the sore will.
posted by ArsncHeart at 10:08 PM on January 11, 2006

I've always called these 'tongue zits' (Google search on the term to prove I'm not the only one. :)

Too much sugar or too many Sour Patch Kids or other tart/acidic candy and they'll pop up and bug me for a few days.
posted by xiojason at 10:30 PM on January 11, 2006

I get these when I eat too much acid + sugar; a notable offender is sour patch kids. If I can bite them off, it makes them feel better (rather like ArsncHeart said). I don't remember ice helping that much (I haven't had one in a while) but it seems like it could be useful. I have no idea what these are either, actually, but I sure would like to find out.
posted by MadamM at 10:32 PM on January 11, 2006

Wow, I didn't see xiojason's comment. Clearly sour patch kids are mouth- devils; not just bad for teeth, but for tongues, too!
posted by MadamM at 10:33 PM on January 11, 2006

(in response to xiojason's comment)
is clipping them REALLY nec. ?? does that actually make things better? it just sounds painful & scary to me.

i get the same things from cinnamon flavored stuff or cloves. my solution, like a few others here, is to simply avoid those things.
posted by eli_d at 11:58 PM on January 11, 2006

Assuming it's the same thing I've had, I've always called these ulcers.

Despite the horrible taste, I always experience some relief from disolving a teaspoon of salt in half a glass of water, and gargling. This and other potential treatments mentioned under the "treatment" heading here.
posted by ancamp at 2:39 AM on January 12, 2006

If I eat a tremendous amount of Haw Flakes (like over a pound in a day)

Ewww! Why would you ever do that!
posted by Chuckles at 4:44 AM on January 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

i get those very seldom from smoking and acidic juices, biting them off is my cure
posted by suni at 5:12 AM on January 12, 2006

I too get them after eating sour things.
My dad always called them "Lie Bumps". You get them because you told a lie. He knew that wasn't true, but as a kid I sure didn't know that.
posted by nimsey lou at 5:13 AM on January 12, 2006

I get them too and I seem to remember the term "lie bumps" as well. They are not an ulcer, it is as if one of the taste buds has become white and swollen. I too use the fingernail clipper treatment with good results, but a little Googling found some advice from an actual dentist.

He suggests that the cause is trauma; I wonder if those who attribute them to sour foods just notice them when the sour stuff hits the bump and stings.
posted by TedW at 6:04 AM on January 12, 2006

In my house my mom always said that it was a dying or inflamed tastebud and that they could be cause by eating too much sweet or sour stuff. This could cause a kind of trauma to the tounge if you think about it. I have heard tomatoes set some people off as well.
posted by stormygrey at 6:23 AM on January 12, 2006

It's a dead taste bud. Suck it up and wait a few days. Some people also have good luck using anispetic mouth wash. Google "dead tast bud" for more.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:31 AM on January 12, 2006

woo, google knows lots about them.. i never thought those things are actual taste buds
posted by suni at 6:58 AM on January 12, 2006

I've never had them. Learn something new every day. *shudder* sounds terrible. If it's caused by certan foods I would imagine it's an alergic reaction of some sort.
posted by delmoi at 7:36 AM on January 12, 2006

I get these but I never thought about them much before this thread. Now I have one more thing to get freaked out about. Thanks.
posted by matildaben at 7:58 AM on January 12, 2006

OMG, I woke up with one this morning!
It hurts like a mother but I can't help but kind of nibble at it with my front teeth. It's like picking at a scab I guess. I get it from eating a lot of sour stuff, which I suppose I could just avoid but I love sour stuff.
posted by like_neon at 8:31 AM on January 12, 2006

I get them from eating sugar: chocolate, candies, and such. I figured it was a little canker-like sore, and a message to cut out eating junk food.

(It's amazing how the tongue heals so beautifully, isn't it?)

I've not got them from sour foods or cinnamon, but I don't eat a lot of sour foods, and just a 'normal' amount of cinnamon.
posted by Savannah at 8:55 PM on January 12, 2006

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