Examination and Complications
As you’re unlikely to spend much of your time thinking about your taste buds or observing the back of your tongue when you’re feeling well, you may first notice your papillae when sick.
Their appearance may be striking and cause concern in some, even when they’re completely normal and healthy. It can be a challenge to get a good view of them due to their location on the back of your tongue towards your throat.
Inflammation or Swelling
Your papillae may swell due to various causes. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your dental or medical professional. They can help assess your papillae to ensure that it’s benign (harmless) and that you receive proper treatment.
Swollen papillae may be caused by:
- Other health conditions
- Allergies or irritants like spicy food
- Burned tongue from hot food or drink
- Smoking, tobacco products, or illegal drugs
- Vitamin deficiency
Taste disorders can lead to a loss of taste, a change in the way food and drinks taste, or a persistent sense of bad taste. These conditions have a wide range of causes, and diagnosis will depend on your individual medical history, medications, and other health conditions.
Causes of changes to your sense of taste may include:
- Improper dental hygiene
- Medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and illegal drugs
- Neurological disorders
- Exposure to chemicals
- Other medical conditions
Rest assured that problems with taste are typically benign (harmless) unless you have other health conditions. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your dental or medical professional for specialized diagnosis and treatment.