The tongue is covered by numerous taste buds that are normally painless and pink. They are known as papillae and can cause papillitis when they get irritated and inflamed. Since this condition usually resolves within a few days, it is technically known as transient lingual papillitis. Other formal names used to call this lesion are based on the nature and shape of the lesion, namely, eruptive lingual papillitis and fungiform papillary glossitis. This condition is called a lie bump by many people.
Lingual papillitis is a benign lesion in most people and usually resolves spontaneously within a few days. The most common cause is commonly a local and limited form of irritation such as biting the tongue, prolonged speech that is the source of repeated trauma and certain foods. Although spicy, acidic and sour food is commonly accounted to cause papillitis for the local irritation that is felt by most people, any food or ingredient can become the source of the irritation. In these conditions, giving the tongue some rest and avoiding the irritating foods would be beneficial. Mouthwashes can also help but they should be selected wisely not to cause further irritation. Saline (saltwater) mouthwash can also help some people.
Papillitis is believed to be more common in smokers. There are certain issues about smoking and irritations in general. First, smoking is a source of different types of irritations and tissue damages at sites that are far from the respiratory system. Second, such lesions tend to take longer to be healed in smokers since the smoking could become a source of continuous exposure to a toxin. Cigarette smoking also weakens the immune system and delays the normal healing process. Third, lesions tend to be more pre-cancerous and cancerous in smokers due to the known carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoking.
It is important to keep an acceptable level of oral hygiene as papillitis is more common in people with poor oral hygiene with tooth decay. Regular brushing of teeth and dental examination are of utmost important to secure a high level of dental and oral care. Alcohol could also be a triggering irritant of papillitis, not to mention the poor dental and oral hygiene in alcoholics.
Removing an inflamed papilla could be performed as a measure for instantaneous relief but there are a number of reasons to avoid personal manipulation and removal. First and foremost, the actual condition might not be a simple inflammation of a papilla such as an unfortunate case of a cancerous lesions. Identifying such lesions is at least in need of trained eyes and pathologic studies. Second, it is relatively hard to adopt a good handle on one's own tongue to be able remove a lesions acceptably. Third, the tongue is a highly vascular organ and any mistake can lead to severe bleeding when it is better to be at a facility with professional medical care at hand!
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