Q. I have painful bumps at the back of the tongue with swallowing difficulty. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 24, 2020

Hi doctor,

I have a few small painful bumps at the back (right side) of my tonge on the skin that attaches to the mouth (in front of the right tonsil). Bumps are hard and I have lots of pain when swallowing only on that one side (not throat). I have a burning sensation and swelling.



Welcome to

According to your statement, you have been suffering from a few painful, hard bumps at the back right of the tongue, and in front of the right tonsil and feel uncomfortable during swallowing. Usually inflamed papillae or taste buds are small, painful bumps that appear after an injury from a bite or irritation from the hot foods.

Herpes is a common viral infection that can develop blisters on the tongue or gums. Oral herpes is contagious and can spread through saliva, direct contact, sexual exposure, etc. Canker sores may appear on the tongue which are red, white or yellow in appearance and can feel raw and very painful. Some foods seem to trigger cankers sore.

Again food intolerances and allergic reactions may cause bumps on the tongue and it may swollen. An infection in the mouth or on the tongue may cause swelling and pain at the site of the infection.

People with syphilis sometimes develop tongue sore as an early symptom of the disease and can contract the infection through direct contact during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. People with oral thrush usually notice rough white patches on the tongue and there is often redness and a sour mouth as well. It can result from DM (diabetes mellitus), HIV, nutritional deficiencies, some medications like corticosteroid, etc. Even TB (tuberculosis), carcinoma can develop bumps on the tongue.

Treatment depends on the causes of the bumps. You can use antifungal medication, antibiotics, antiviral medication, and maintain good oral hygiene. You should provide some additional history like smoking, substance abuse, previous disease, medications, history of sexual activities, fever. etc.

Thank you doctor,

No previous disease history and no sexual activity. I do smoke weed and nicotine vapes. One bump seems to be a bit yellow and open while the surrounding ones are firm and clear.



Welcome back to

According to your history, these may be resulted from oral thrush which is a fungal infection mostly caused by candida albicans. Your history of smoking weed along with nutritional deficiencies may be the underlying causes of oral thrush.

Oral thrush generally appears as thick, white or cream-colored deposits (spots) on the tongue. The mucosa may appear swollen and slightly red. The spots may be raised. There may be discomfort or a burning sensation. If the white or cream-colored deposits are scrapped, bleeding may occur. The white spots may join together to form larger ones, also known as plaques, these may then take on a grayish or yellowish color.

You can take anti thrush drugs such as Nystatin or Miconazole in the form of gels, drops, or lozenges. Alongside medical treatment, the following can help reduce the risk of worsening the conditions.

Rinse mouth with saltwater.

Use a soft toothbrush to avoid scrapping the lesions.

Use a new toothbrush every day until the infection has gone.

Eat unsweetened yogurt to restore the healthy bacteria levels.

Do not use mouthwashes or spray.

Stop smoking.

In case of any other query ask me and I will try to reply you further.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
My wisdom tooth has cut into my cheek, causing pain and swelling. Please help.

.. your concern. As your mouth opening is very low, do salt water gargling five to six times a day. It will help to relax your mouth opening. Continue taking antibiotics as prescribed. Have a gap of four to five days and then continue taking antibiot...   Read full

I am suffering from oral thrush. Please help.

You have to investigate and confirm that if it is secondary to a fungal infection or bacterial infection ... It will fight the infection ...   Read full

There is white tongue with swollen lymphnodes. Why?

White patches on the tongue can be oral thrush caused by candida albicans seen in severe imunosupression especially stage 3 or 4 ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Alzheimer's Disease - an Overview
Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative condition that can seriously hamper one's day to day activities and quality of life. ...  Read more»
My father is experiencing hospital delirium after ankle surgery. Please help.
Hi doctor, I am concerned about drug interaction for my father. He is experiencing hospital delirium after surgery. My ...  Read more»
Is there a chance for dengue reattack in the same season?
Hi doctor, I was diagnosed with dengue towards the end of last month. I was hospitalized for five days. I went through...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Internal Medicine Physician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.