Taste buds are an essential organ for human beings, especially among food lovers! Because of them, one can taste the sweetness of mango and the bitterness of medication. Taste buds basically made of small projection of papillae located on the tongue. It has numerous taste receptors which allowed us to experience tastes that are sour, spicy, sweet, bitter as well as umami.
There are times where it became swollen and the condition usually affects one’s ability to taste the foods. Swollen papillae are hardly seen by naked eyes but one can notice that their tongue appears red and sometimes may notice fluid-filled blisters. Thus, doctors would usually examine the patient’s tongue and might take a biopsy if cancer is suspected. Aside from cancer, there are other causes that lead to swollen taste buds. For instance, eating spicy or sour foods, tongue exposed to extreme cold or hot food, infection, dry mouth, acid reflux from the stomach, trauma to the tongue, smoking, burns as well as taking medication that has high acidity levels.
The treatment option for this condition usually depends on the triggering factors. An overnight treatment that one can opt for would be:
- Applying ice on the tongue
One of the ways to reduce swollen taste buds is by applying ice or a cold pack (covered by a towel to avoid frostbite) on the tongue for about 10 to 15 minutes. Aside from that, eating ice-cream or chewing ice chips can be the alternative. So how this approach works? Well, the cold temperature will cause blood vessels to get constricted which then reduces blood flow to the affected area. This action leads to the reduction of the inflammation, indirectly reduces nerve activity and thus relieving the pain!
- Gargle with saltwater
Saltwater has been widely used all over the world as a natural cleaning agent and remedies for conditions like sore throat, urticaria, and gingivitis. Saltwater helps to reduce mucus as well as clearing bacteria and fungus by diverting the moisture away from the inflamed area. The preparation of salt water is very easy and cost-friendly. Mixing a half teaspoon of salt into 100 ml of warm water and stir vigorously to ensure well-dissolved saltwater. Gargle for 30 seconds and spit afterwards. The patient is advised to repeat this step after a meal or before bed.
Depending on the severity of the condition and respective causes, tablet medication may help to also reduce swelling and pain. If the swelling is aggravated by food intake (food allergy) one may consider taking an antihistamine. This is also to prevent further life-threatening allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or shock. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen may be helpful in reducing the swelling and can act as a pain reliever. However, some medication requires a doctor’s prescription.
Prevention is better than cure, thus measures should be taken to avoid this condition from recurring. Smoking may be one of the factors contributing to this as hot smoke from the burning cigarette may cause oral dryness including the tongue. In addition, someone that is prone to get this condition may also need to avoid taking spicy, sour and hot temperature beverages.
In nutshell, swollen taste buds are definitely one of the unpleasant conditions that one may experience. Having it cured overnight might be hard but proper measurement taken may help in reducing the symptoms. Ask to a doctor now to seek medical advice if your experience swelled taste buds.