eli5 – what’s happened to those individual tastebuds that become SUPER painful/swollen/sometimes ‘burst’ and flap open out of nowhere? what went on? why only the odd 1?

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eli5 – what’s happened to those individual tastebuds that become SUPER painful/swollen/sometimes ‘burst’ and flap open out of nowhere? what went on? why only the odd 1?

In: Biology

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The swelling of a single taste bud can have any number of causes. A tastebud is no different to other parts of your body in that the pain and swelling often indicates damage and your immune system is working to repair it.

Swollen tastebuds are relatively common and usually heal on their own without lasting damage. It could be caused by infection, oral hygiene, stomach acid, something really hot or cold causing irritation, spicy or acidic foods etc.

There is also a very common condition called transient lingual papillitis (TLP) which no one can pinpoint an exact cause but it is thought to be related to stress, hormones, certain types of foods etc.

Just like any other part of your body, the tongue can get damaged from hot, rough and sour food. Sour sweets in particular come to mind.

My sister simply cuts them off with nail clippers. She swears it doesn’t hurt and that it is *instant* relief the second the taste bud is gone. I envy her ability to just lop them off but I’ve never been able to bring myself to try it.

Wait, this happens?!