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Dental Blog

A dental blog from Smiles by Bigelow Dr. Bigelow is offering this educational blog as a resource to the community. Our hope at Smiles by Bigelow is that this blog will cover subjects that you and your family may be interested in.

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Why Do Taste Buds Randomly Swell Up On Your Tongue?
Posted on 10/30/2019 by Tod A. Bigelow, DDS, PLLC
Your taste buds are quite important. They are what allow you to tell how different foods taste. They enable you to identify all the different tastes food can have. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds, which are housed in little protrusions on the tongue known as papillae. Each of these buds has up to 50 sensory cells that are linked up with nerve cells that send messages to the brain about what you taste. There are 3 types of papillae, depending on their location on the tongue, size, and the number of taste buds they contain. At the very front you have the fungiform papillae, which help you do other things apart from taste, such as sensing touch and temperature. Next are the circumvallate papillae, which are found at the base of the tongue. They are the largest papillae and can house thousands of taste buds. At the back of your tongue you will find the foliate papillae, which contain hundreds of taste buds. Under normal circumstances, your taste buds should be invisible little helpers working in the background to help you taste. You shouldn't feel them. However, they do sometimes get irritated and sensitive, making eating or drinking rather uncomfortable. Causes of Swollen Taste Buds Swollen taste buds can be caused by a whole range of things, including infection, acid reflux, allergies and sensitivities to certain foods, smoking, stress, vitamin deficiencies, and even oral cancer. Before you get worried about whether you might have oral cancer every time your taste buds get swollen, you should note that oral cancer is quite rare and has other symptoms, including sores in the mouth, white or red patches on the tonsils, gums, inside the mouth, or on the tongue, a lump ion the cheek, trouble moving the tongue and jaws, lumps in the neck, soreness in the throat, and loose teeth, among others. Most likely, your swollen taste buds are caused by allergies, infection, burning, smoking, or something else that is either avoidable or curable. When your taste buds get swollen, don't hesitate about it. Visit our office as soon as you can so we can determine the cause of the swelling and take immediate action to remedy the situation....

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