What Is Circumvallate Papillae – Treatment & Causes

The human body is a unique template, but it shares some commonalities from one individual to the next. For instance, everyone has papillae on their tongue. The majority of individuals will never experience any type of problem from this, but others will. These circular bumps are found throughout the surface of the tongue and they perform a variety of different functions. When they work together, they give you the ability to taste different foods. Below, you will learn about these, as well as the problematic condition known as enlarged papillae.

Four Types Of Papillae

First, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of papillae. There are actually four of them and they’ll be explored in more depth below.

  • Circumvallate: These are found at the back of the tongue and they form a V. They’re responsible for identifying bitter tastes.
  • Foliate: These are located on the sides of the tongue. There are two accumulations of foliate papillae.
  • Filiform: These also form a V shape. They actually create a bumpy, abrasive surface on the tongue and help you identify sour tastes.
  • Fungiform: These papillae are spread throughout the apex and sides of your tongue. They’re responsible for detecting sour and sweet tastes.

What Causes Enlarged Circumvallate Papillae?

When it comes down to it, the papillae can become inflamed and enlarged for a number of different reasons. The majority of the time an inflamed taste bud isn’t serious, but in some cases, it could be. In many cases, the cause of the enlarged papillae on tongue is from biting the tongue, while eating. Burning the tongue, when eating foods that haven’t cooled, can also cause it. If the problem worsens and becomes infected, you’ll likely be dealing with enlarged taste buds.

Other common causes of swollen taste buds will be listed below for your convenience.

  • Frequent and excessive smoking
  • Specific medical conditions, including ulcerative colitis
  • Increased stress can lead to canker sores, which may inflame the papillae
  • Specific types of oral cancer can result in infected taste bud

Different Treatments

If you’re suffering from this unique condition, you will likely recognize it right away. It is absolutely imperative to take action quickly and there are several ways to do this. First and foremost, you should make sure that you stop smoking right away! This will help to reduce the amount of stress and irritation placed on the tongue and will also reduce your risk of developing oral cancer. This will also improve your overall health and is highly recommended for numerous reasons.

Next, you will want to try rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash or salt water. This can help to repair some of the damage suffered from the tongue, while also nulling the pain to some degree. If you’re suffering from cold sores or mouth ulcers, you should up your daily intake of vitamin B12. This can be done easily, by consuming vitamin B12 supplements on a daily basis.

The good news is that the problem usually isn’t serious. Most of the time, these bumps will repair themselves with time. If the inflammation and pain lingers for two or more weeks, you will want to seek out medical attention immediately. With your doctor’s guidance, you will be able to find an effective remedy and reclaim your sanity!


When it comes down to it, you should not freak out, when you begin suffering from a swollen taste bud. In most situations, the condition will pass and you will return to normal within a week or so. However, if the taste buds remain swollen and painful for an extensive period of time, you should definitely seek out medical attention. This can help to quell your worries and ensure that the problem is rectified properly!

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The team is composed of doctors and few students in their final year of medicine who have decided to popularize and share their knowledge.