Stick out your tongue and look in the mirror. The natural bumps on the surface of the tongue that give it its rough texture are called papillae. These bumps are typically smaller on the tip and middle of the tongue and become larger on the back portion. If you look near the tonsils, you'll notice larger bumps, called circumvallate papillae, which are positioned in a V-shape.
Sometimes these bumps on the back of the tongue become enlarged due to sores or an oral infection, and in rare cases can indicate other conditions like oral cancer. If you notice enlarged bumps on your tongue, consult your dentist to determine the possible causes and treatment options.