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Enlarged Papillae - Pictures, Causes and Treatment

Updated on January 3, 2014


What are Enlarged Papillae?

Usually when people have enlarged papillae it is nothing serious. You can substitute taste buds when speaking of papillae but not all of the papillae contain taste buds. In actuality papillae are small growths on your tongue’s surface and are natural. There are many types of papillae and sometimes they do appear larger than normal.


Many times as a person ages they just happen naturally but there could also be other underlying reasons why they are enlarged. Some of these causes may include:

  • Smoking excessively - this can cause your tongue to become irritated
  • Canker sores - they can appear for no known reason but if you are under a lot of stress it can make the case more severe.
  • GERD
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Oral cancer - this is a possibility if the sores do not disappear after fourteen days
  • Infection from trauma - this can include eating foods that are too acidic, biting your tongue, or eating something hot.


Before you can start any treatment you need to know what is causing your enlarge papillae. Some off the standard methods of treatment may include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing both your tongue and teeth along with flossing.
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Avoid eating foods that are spicy, acidic, or hot
  • To help ease the pain garlic with a mouth rinse or gargle with salt water.
  • To help balance the bacteria in your body eat yogurt every day. You can also increase the intake of dairy products.
  • Try to avoid biting your tongue
  • If you have a sharp teeth have your dentist smooth them down
  • Increase your intake of vitamin B12, B2, B6, and B1 supplements or increase your intake of foods that contain these vitamins. They can help to manage any cold sores or mouth ulcers you have.
  • You should either eat natural sources of iron or take an iron supplement
  • If you wear dentures make sure that they fit correctly.


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