We know there is absence of follicles or glands on the tongue, so how can there be a pimple on it? A pimple grows on the skin when oil glands or pores clog; since there are none on the tongue, the pimple-like structure you feel is actually a bump.

Not many people pay attention to the changes happening in the oral cavity. The presence of pimples on the tongue could be something simple like a lie bump that usually resolves on its own or something as grave as cancer.

Do not worry; this blog has described different causes of these tongue bumps and methods to make them go away.

What is a tongue pimple or bump?

Our tongue has a mucous membrane surface covered with papillae. Taste buds reside between them, and often due to hasty eating, we accidentally bite a part of our tongue; this causes the papillae to grow in size due to inflammation. It mimics a pimple and can be very painful.

Causes of pimple on the tongue

Here is a list of five probable reasons due to which bumps on tongue may appear

Lie bumps

Lie bumps present themselves in the form of either red or white pimples. A common trigger is spicy foods; if you see these pimple-like structures on the tongue after eating anything hot, it is probably due to that. These bumps are named transient lie bumps. They usually resolve on their own and do not require treatment.

Canker Sore

Canker sores are painful white lesions surrounded by swollen red tissues. They appear as a white pimple on the tongue.
They can be of various sizes and are also found on the cheek, gums, and inside of the lips as well. In some individuals, food can be a major trigger for canker sores. On the other hand, stress, hormonal issues, and nutritional deficiencies also contribute to it.

Symptoms of canker sores

  • fever with swollen lymph nodes
  • pain in the pimple-like structure on the tongue
  • circular or oval-shaped ulcer

Treatment of Canker Sore
Luckily, canker sores go away on their own. They last for about a week to ten days only. On the other hand, if there is pain associated, saltwater rinse works wonders to lessen the irritation.


Certain food intolerances can result in a pimple popping on the tongue. It swells up due to inflammation; rashes, or difficulty in breathing may accompany it. In such a situation, rush to the nearby hospital for anaphylaxis treatment.


The appearance of tongue pimple after intercourse indicates an early onset of syphilis. It is a dangerous type of bacterial infection that is spread via body-to-body contact. Luckily, when caught early, it is easily cured as it responds well to antibiotics.

Treatment of pimple on the tongue
Antibiotics work best for a bacterial infection. Bumps due to any other reason could be resolved by

  • steering away from spicy food
  • saltwater rinse
  • hydration
  • avoiding triggers
  • meditation to relieve stress

Oral Cancer

While it is most likely that the pimple on your tongue is any one of the above, it could be, in rare scenarios, a cancerous bump. The growth in such conditions on the tongue appears to be persistent and does not go away on its own. If your pimple stays on for more than two weeks, it is advised to get a screening done as soon as possible.

If you have any doubts about the emergence of a pimple on the tongue, head to San Ramon Urgent Care and Clinic. Call at 925 361 5959 (San Ramon) or 209 825 5155 (Manteca) 209 983 9000 (Lothrop) now.

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