Our tongue is a muscle that enables us to do so many things. First off, it is responsible for our sense of taste. The wet muscle also helps us swallow the food that we take. And not to forget, its function as a major contributor in helping us communicate through speech. It has multiple purposes, and we often forget how important it is to take care of it. The tongue has papillae, a papilla is essential for us to experience taste. It is an intricate and a useful part of the wet muscle because it will let us distinguish the difference between eating something bitter, sweet, sour or salty food. The taste buds formed and gathered around the papillae let us determine the taste of all the things that we place in our mouth, from the sweetest to the blandest.
It is a very powerful part of the tongue, and there are times that it can be damaged. One of the standard conditions is enlarged papillae. Most of cases will heal on their own, and there is no need to go to the doctor. But other cases are more severe than others, so it is important that we are aware of the different types of papillae.
Types of Papillae
The four different types of papillae found on the tongue help us differentiate our taste. So it is interesting to know the differences of each other.
- Fungiform Papillae
They can assist us in taste food that is sweet and sour. It is mushroom shaped and can usually be found littered across the top of the tongue. The majority of these kinds of papillae can also be detected on the apex of the tongue and its side.
- Foliate Papillae
They will aid us to find out if the food is salty. They have an elongated form and finds a home on the sides of the tongue.
- Filiform Papillae
Their function is like the fungiform papillae in helping us identify the sour taste. However, they do not have the capability to distinguish the sweet taste. It is gaunt and V-shaped and has the greatest number out of all the kinds of papillae.
- Circumvallate Papillae
The least common ones are the circumvallate papillae. They are located on the back of the tongue leading to the throat. They help us taste the bitterness of the things we put in our mouth.
What Causes Enlarged Papillae?
We do not put a thought on our papillae unless we experience discomfort and pain. There are various reasons why papillae would enlarge, and it is a very helpful knowledge to know to proceed with the appropriate treatment.
- Non-stop Excessive Smoking
Smoking has never been good for the health in the first place. They do not only cause smoke pollution but provides acute and chronic diseases such as lung cancer. Smoking can also produce an enlargement of the papillae, and although it is considered a minor side effect, the soreness of the tongue can lead to further infections.
- Irritations and infections
This goes to say, is one of the most painful feelings for a person having got the swollen tongue due to an infection. These are contributed to various reasons that range from eating something too hot, biting the tongue excessively and eating acidic food just to name a few.
- Canker Sores due to stress
These sores are very painful as well. Being stressed is a contributing factor in getting an enlarged papilla. And the more that your stress level goes high, the more painful it would become.
- Gastrointestinal Conditions
Reflux and colitis are one of the most common reasons for this condition. It is very imperative that we take care of guts because the damage on that body part can also cause a swollen papillae.
- Oral Cancer
If the soreness of the tongues does not diminish in two weeks, it may be time to seek a doctor. It is a symptom of oral cancer a visit to the physician is highly recommended.
How do you Treat Enlarged Papillae?
There numerous ways on treating the inflamed (swollen, raised bumps) taste buds and we should be able to at least adhere to these to continue having a good tongue.
- Never smoke again
It is a very hard thing to do, but if one is determined to stop smoking, it will merit to great results. Not only is your tongue healthy but your lungs as well.
- Practice preventive measures
Maintaining an excellent hygiene is a must. Take time in brushing your teeth or start flossing. Eat healthy food and maintain a balanced lifestyle. It also will not hurt to take vitamin B12 supplements to prevent those sores.
- Home remedies
Items at the house can also be used in getting rid of enlarged papillae. A person can gargle with water added by salt to lessen the throb it brings; mouthwash can also be used. Increasing the dairy intake can also help especially if it’s low fat and healthy.
- Get rid of your inappropriate habits
If you have a habit of biting your tongue, it would be best if you start changing it. These can cause an enlarge papillae and might lead to something more serious. Avoiding spicy and acidic food is also recommended.
- Visit your doctor
It always is a must to consult your doctor if the soreness does not go away. There may be underlying conditions that can only be detected by visiting your physician.
The tongue is not just a muscle; it is an essential part of us to function as normal human beings. It is always advised that we take care of it so we can enjoy life to its grandest.