Red spots on the tongue can appear on the tip, under and even at the back. These red spots or dots or patches on the tongue can be small and sore.
However, the causes of these red dots on the tongue are harmless. In rare cases, it can imply a serious health condition.
It is important to note that you can also develop red spots on the roof of the mouth for various reasons.
In this post, you will discover some of the possible causes of red dots on the tongue of toddlers and even adults.
Red Spots on Tongue Causes
Generally, red spots on the tongue are simply small bumps that are filled with blood. These dots or patches change the color, texture, and appearance of the tongue.
Here are some of the potential causes of red spots on the tongue:
- Inflamed papillae
This condition of the tongue can result in the formation of painful red bumps on the tongue. This is common among people who consume extremely spicy and hot foods or beverages.
It can also be caused by accidental biting of the tongue. Smokers are also susceptible to inflamed papillae.
- Strawberry Tongue
This is another tongue condition that may result in the appearance of red dots on the tongue. It can also result in several color change on the tongue such as from pink to red.
Strawberry tongue is caused by a lack of nutrient B-12 and B-complex vitamin, benign migratory inflammation, or scarlatina.
- Scarlet Fever
Scarlatina is the common cause of scarlet fever. However, it is said to be triggered by bacterial infection.
According to doctors on WebMD, scarlet fever causes the appearance of the pale tongue that is coated with red dots on it.
You will notice early symptoms such as the appearance of a small red rash on the chest and neck before spreading to the other parts of the body such as nose, tongue and around the mouth. You will also experience a sore throat, fever, and headache.
- Kawasaki Disease
According to doctors on WebMD, the Kawasaki disease is one of viral infection that is common among children under the age of 5 years. The viral infection usually affects the lymph nodes, skin and even around the mouth.
The child will also develop swollen tongue with white coating and red bumps on it. Other symptoms of Kawasaki disease are fever, dry cracked lips, rash on genitals and stomach.
- Oral cancer
This is a rare type of cancer that occurs on the mouth and even on the tongue. However, mouth cancer usually affects the lips, under or on top of the tongue.
You will notice a small red dot on the tongue that won’t heal despite trying various methods to treat it.
Some of the other symptoms that will help you detect mouth cancer are mouth sores or ulcers, pain in the tongue and mouth numbness.
It is advisable to consult your doctor to help differentiate between canker sores and cancer cells.
- Digestive disorders such as acid reflux
According to doctors on mayo clinic, acidic reflux can result in the appearance of red dots or patches on the tongue.
Other common symptoms of the digestive disorder are heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, bloody stool, hiccups, dysphagia, etc.
- Allergic reactions
Allergens such as animal dander, certain foods, and medication can result in an allergic reaction that causes red dots on the tongue.
Sometimes you will notice swollen tongue, swollen lip, itching, nasal congestion, dizziness, hives, etc.
- Vitamin deficiency and pernicious anemia
You can develop tiny red spots on the tongue due to lack of vitamin B-12. Therefore, it is advisable to have adequate vitamin B12 in your diet in order to prevent this type of tongue condition.
Some of the common sources of vitamin B12 are shellfish, liver, mackerel fish, crustaceans, fortified soy products, fortified cereals, red meat, skimmed milk, cheese, and eggs.
- Canker sores
This is another oral condition that can result in the development of painful blisters on the tongue.
You will notice the appearance of yellow or white coating that has a red spots border. Other symptoms of canker sores on the tongue are malaise, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Strep throat
This is a bacterial infection that results in the formation of prickly red spots on the back of the tongue.
You will notice the appearance of a swollen uvula, tiny red dots along the back of the tongue and throat.
Other common symptoms accompanied by strep throat include throat pain, headache, and rash, tiny red spots on the hard and soft palate, swollen tonsils with white patches, swallowing difficulties, among others.
- Lie bumps or transient lingual papillitis
This is another tongue condition that is marked by the formation of tiny red spots on the tongue.
According to doctors on WebMD, that condition is caused by stress, local trauma, splitting taste buds, acidic or sour foods, smoking, menstruation, etc.
- Other common causes
- Geographic tongue
- Excessive smoking or drinking of alcohol
- Cold sores
- Oral thrush
- Mouth ulcers
- Eating hot and spicy foods
Small Red Spots on Tongue
According to doctors on Cleveland clinic, red spots on tongue occur due to mouth injury, allergic reactions, nutritional deficiencies, excessive smoking, canker sores, scarlet fever, stomatitis, herpes, burning tongue syndrome, inflamed papillae, oral thrush, Kawasaki diseased, oral cancer or leukoplakia.
You will also experience symptoms such as painless or painful red bumps on the tongue, inflammation as well as burning sensation. Sometimes it could cause difficulty in speaking and even swallowing food.
It is advisable to visit your doctor when you notice the occurrence of swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and nausea since it could be an indication of bacterial infection.
However, most of these tiny red bumps on tongue usually disappear without treatment or by use of simple home remedies like proper oral care hygiene.
You can also consult your doctor in case of sores on the tongue that won’t heal despite any form of medication.
Sore Red Spots on Tongue
Sore tongue with red spots can be alarming and causes a lot of discomforts. You might find it hard to eat and even speak freely.
However, the cause of a sore tongue with red spots isn’t so alarming since they can be treated using simple home remedies.
Some of the potential causes of tongue sores that are accompanied by red spots include:
Tongue biting and tongue burn with hot food can be so painful. This may result in the formation of the blood blister on tongue depending on the location of the occurrence. However, this painful red bump on the tongue will heal after some weeks.
Both fungal and bacterial infection can result in the occurrence of enlarged papillae on your tongue.
These red or white bumps on the tongue are also known as lie bumps or transient lingual papillitis.
It results in swollen taste buds that are painful. However, they do clear up after some days.
- Mouth ulcers
This usually results in tongue pain and it is believed to be caused by factors that cause cold sores or canker sores.
You will also notice a whitish, red or yellow tongue appearance. Mouth ulcers are caused by tongue biting, stress, eating hot and spicy foods.
- Allergic reaction
There are certain types of foods that can hurt your tongue. This could be due to oral allergy syndrome.
It is mostly caused by raw fruits, vegetables, and certain tree nuts. Aside from tiny red spots on the tongue, you will also experience itchy mouth, swelling lips, and even scratchy throat.
Excessive smoking not only causes lung cancer but also small red dots on the tongue. You will also develop colored teeth, bad breath, hairy tongue, tooth decay, and even sores on the roof of the mouth.
- Less common causes of red spots on the back of the tongue
- Inadequate vitamin in the diet
- Burning tongue syndrome
- Lichen planus
- Behcet’s disease
- Moeller’s glossitis
Red Spots on Tongue Pictures
The pictures in this post will help you to know how red spots on the tongue look like.
You will also be able to identify some symptoms associated with the condition depending on the underlying cause.
Use the pictures to seek medical help from your doctor. Here are some sample of tongue problem pictures:
Red Spots on Tongue Toddlers
The appearance of red dots on the tongue of your baby or toddler can be very painful.
These spots can cause constant crying of your baby and even difficulty in eating. The child will also experience fever among other symptoms associated with the condition.
Some of the common factors that trigger red dots or patches on the tongue of many babies are canker sores and cold sores.
Therefore, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately when you notice strange bumps on the tongue of your baby.
Red Spots on Tongue and Sore Throat
Sore tongue and sore throat can be discomforting in most cases. Painful throat and tongue could be due to mouth ulcers. This could be due to mouth injuries, canker sores, and cold sores.
These factors could result in the formation of tiny red spots on the tongue, blood-filled blisters in the mouth cheek, sore and swollen throat.
It is advisable to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition that causes a sore throat.
Red Spots on Tongue STD
STDs are sometimes the common cause of red bumps on the tip, back and even under the tongue.
Therefore, when you suspect that STDs is behind the cause, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately for treatment.
This should not worry you so much since red dots on the tongue could be due to other factors such as oral cancer, allergic reaction, and lie bumps.
How to Get Rid Of Red Spots on Tongue
There are several factors that can result in the appearance of red spots on the tongue. The underlying cause will determine the effective treatment to adopt.
Here are some of the possible home remedies that can help to get rid of red bumps on the tongue. They include:
Gargle With a Warm Salt Water
The saline solution contains antibacterial properties that help to get rid of germs causing red bumps on the tongue.
It also helps to facilitate faster healing of wounds on the tongue and even roof of the mouth sores.
Here are steps to follow when dealing with red bumps or dots on the tongue:
- Dissolve about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in a glass of heat water to build an isosmotic solution.
- Gargle a mouthful of the salt water for about thirty seconds and gently spit it out.
- Swishes the salt water solution after each meal to obviate any rubble within the teeth or on the tongue
- Repeat this procedure for 3-4 times every day till tongue bumps disappear.
- Do not use an isosmotic solution that’s selected for contact lenses as a mouth rinse.
Drink Cold or Cool Liquids
This will help to relieve the pain caused by the red spots and even foster faster healing.
It contains certain ingredients that help to get rid of factors that cause tongue pain and formation of red spots such as canker sores. Here are steps on how to use it:
- Mix enough heated water with ground cayenne pepper to make a thick paste.
- Use a cotton swab to apply it to the canker sore. Reapply it 2-3 times daily for pain relief.
It helps to restore bacterial balance on the tongue thus inhibiting the occurrence of oral thrush in the mouth.
It also helps in the treatment of canker sores that causes the formation of red bumps on the roof of the mouth and side of the tongue.
How to use it:
- Make sure the label on the food confirms that it contains live cultures, and make sure you get plain-not vanilla. Take minimum one tablespoon three times daily.
- Eat a cup and add a bit little bit of raw honey for style and an additional healing boost.
- What’s Causing My Sore Tongue? https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/sore-tongue
- Tongue Problem Basics: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps#1
- What A Sore Throat And Tongue Can Mean: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/sore-throat-and-tongue-1215
- Red Spots On Tongue : https://mavcure.com/red-spots-on-tongue/