What is Transient Lingual Papillitis and How is it Treated?

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Learn more about Transient Lingual Papillitis, a fairly common condition also known as lie bumps, including causes and treatment.

Transient lingual papillitis is a condition of the body also known as lie bumps. These are small bumps with red or white color which grow on the tongue. They are painful bumps that appear frequently but resolve independently without medical intervention – may appear as small pimples on the tongue.

Transient Lingual Papillitis Causes 

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering; how do you get Transient Lingual Papillitis? The exact cause of transient lingual papillitis remains unknown. However, experts believe that it occurs as a result of one or more triggering factors, and a number of factors have been linked to causing transient lingual papillitis, including infection, chronic trauma, head injury, or even eating spicy or acidic foods. Your doctor or dentist will diagnose this condition by reviewing your medical history and performing a full mouth examination. On rare occasions, a biopsy can be performed.

Causes of Transient Lingual Papillitis 

  • Underlying infection, either viral or bacterial (this is commonly associated with eruptive lingual papillitis)
  • Low-grade chronic irritation or trauma from sharp-edged/fractured teeth or wearing an orthodontic appliance
  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Poor nutrition
  • Heat injury to the tongue
  • Eating spicy or acidic foods (for example, foods made with cinnamon or capsaicin)
  • Excessive smoking or alcohol intake
  • Using certain oral hygiene products
  • Hormone fluctuation (for example, during menstruation or menopause)
  • It may also be associated with atopic disease (like eczema)

Transient Lingual Papillitis treatment 

Usually the treatment of transient lingual papillitis is simple, and your doctor or dentist may recommend therapies such as saltwater rinses, cold foods, or topical corticosteroids — that can soothe any discomfort you may have in your tongue or mouth. As with any illness or injury, you should consult your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment options as soon as possible. 

Potential Treatments for Transient Lingual Papillitis

  • Saltwater rinses
  • Cold drinks and foods
  • Anesthetic or antiseptic mouthwashes
  • Topical steroids, like triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% dental paste
  • Avoiding irritating gums, candies, or oral hygiene products

*Eliminating triggers to prevent recurrence of the condition may also be recommended