Common Causes of Red Spots on Tongue

There are number of conditions associated with red (strawberry) tongue, red spots.

A healthy tongue is pink and covered with small bumps called papillae. There are lots of causes for spots on the tongue, most of which are harmless, nevertheless, it is very important to see a dental practitioner every six months for routine care and earlier if the spots hurt, increasing, or do not resolve. The cause of the spots can be better figured out by the color.

Here are possible health conditions which might trigger you tongue get red spots.

Geographical Tongue

Geographical tongue looks like smooth, red spots of an irregular shape on the side or top of your tongue. The spots can alter size, shape, and place. The cause is unidentified. It’s harmless and usually clears up by itself, however it can take weeks or months. In many cases, it can last for several years.

You may have pain or a burning feeling, especially after eating foods that are:

  • spicy
  • salty
  • acidic
  • hot

Lie Bumps

Lie bumps are also called transient linguistic papillitis. They’re small white or red spots or bumps on the tongue. You might have one or more bumps on the surface of the tongue. Their cause is unknown.

No treatment is essential for lie bumps. They generally clean up on their own in a matter of days.


The fungi Candida causes thrush, or oral candidiasis. It looks like velvety white patches, in some cases with red sores. These patches can appear on your tongue, however they can likewise infect anywhere in your mouth and throat.

Babies and older individuals are more vulnerable to thrush. So are people with weakened immune systems or those who take particular medications.

Other symptoms may include:

  • raised, cottage cheese-like lesions
  • redness
  • soreness
  • bleeding
  • a loss of taste
  • dry mouth
  • problem eating or swallowing

Inflamed papillae

A common reason for agonizing red dots on the tongue is irritated papillae. This is triggered due to burns triggered by consumption of incredibly hot & hot food or drinks, unintentionally biting your tongue, other injuries. Cigarette smokers normally get these dots that sometimes are self-healing.

Strawberry Tongue

A typical reason for red dots on the tongue is because of a condition described as strawberry tongue. In case you have it, your tongue can alter from pink color to red/strawberry color with bigger, red design buds dotting the surface area, i.e., your style buds enlarge and look like red dots on your tongue surface.

Possible causes of strawberry tongue signify the absence of nutrient B-12 and B-complex vitamin, benign migratory swelling, or scarlatina.

Scarlet Fever

Among the other possible reasons for the red spots on your tongue might be scarlatina. Scarlatina might either be due to microbe pharyngitis or strep throat or streptococcus tonsilitis or septic inflammatory illness or an aching throat or pharyngitis or raw throat infection caused by the varied strains of strep.

If you have scarlatina, your tongue might end up being pale and coated with red spots.

The moderate red rash can appear on your upper chest and neck prior to infecting other body parts such as your tongue, lips, nose, and so on. They look like sandpaper.

Other symptoms of scarlatina can be the inflammatory disease, fever, headache, feeling weak or nausea.Its treatment comprises of a ten-day course of phenoxymethylpenicillin or alternative antibiotics.

Kawasaki Disease

This is a contagious illness that affects kids primarily listed below the age of 5 years. It affects their humor nodes, skin and mouth.

It causes fever, swollen feet soles, and palms to rely on purple, inflamed humor nodes, swollen tongue with a white finishing and huge red bumps, red dry, cracked lips, rashes on the chest, genital area and abdominal area, seriously red eyes, etc.

If unattended, it may cause problems along with blood vessels inflammation or arrhythmias whenever heartbeat pattern is hindered. Treatment is done by intravenous (IV) dosages of globulin (cleansed antibodies).

Canker Sores

Most people typically confuse canker sores to be malignant given that they’re agonizing. However, that’s not the case. Canker sores ought to recover in 2 weeks. If the problem does not get resolved by that time, you must consider taking an Orthodontist’s consultation.

You might have to go under Carcinoma treatment which is done by treatment, radiotherapy, surgery and targeted drug medical help. The alternative conditions to look at for consist of:

Information verified by the team.
  • Erythroleukoplakia. This comprises of red and white patches on the tongue that tends to be cancerous. In case you’ve got them, and they last for over 2 weeks, get inspected.
  • Erythroplakia. These are intense red patches in the mouth and tongue that are a malignant neoplasm, i.e., about 75 to 90 % cases of erythroplakia are cancerous; therefore you should not overlook any red-colored spots in your mouth.”

Digestive Disorders Like Acid Reflux

Having acidity results in red dots or bumps on your tongue once the acid spits up from the abdomen reaches your tongue surface area. Common symptoms of acid reflux consisted of symptoms such as regurgitation, bloating, bloody stool, missteps, dysphagia, etc.


Allergy to numerous allergens like animal dander, food, medication, and so on can cause inflamed tongue which is as bad as red dots on your tongue. Allergic reactions can produce other symptoms like cutaneous sensation mouth, inflamed lip, face or throat, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, nasal blockage, dizziness, hives, etc.

Vitamin Deficiency and Anemia

Lack of vitamins, especially the one rich in vitamin B-12, leads to red spots on the tongue. Ensure to have the diet plan rich in vitamin B-12 that embodies shellfish, liver, mackerel fish, shellfishes, strengthened soy product, fortified cereals, red meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.

There is a link between red spots on the tongue and Anemia. A first typical sign of Anemia could be a smooth red strapping tongue, heartburn, queasiness, depression, confusion, ideal ear hearing loss, etc. It’s triggered by a shortage of vitamin B12 and iron.

Red Spots On Tongue STD or Dots

In some cases, red spots on your tongue may be triggered by STDs. Throughout the preliminary stages; one may possess small, pain-free sores on the tongue, vulva, vaginal area, lips, cervix, or the location wherever the sickness inflicting bacterium enters the body.

The rash-like rough, red, or sepia spots will appear. At the secondary stage, sores and sores within the mouth are likewise typical.

However, red dots on tongue do not seem to be an indication of HIV, but a jeopardized resistance may enable alternative infections to cause the spots.

Hand-Foot and Mouth Disease

This is a sickness that affects kids who are under the age of 5 years. Hand foot and mouth illness triggers red spots on the tongue, gums or inside the cheeks.

These spots can trigger ulcers or blisters that hurt, and it’s alternative symptoms includes the red rash on feet sole, butt, palm, inflammatory disease and fever.

Other causes of red dots on tongue:


Excessive tongue irritation since of skin disease can create bacterium in your mouth to link your design buds.

Cancer of the Tongue

The most typical kind of tongue cancer is squamous cell cancer. It typically resembles an ulcer or a scab that does not recover. It can develop on any part of the tongue and might bleed if you touch it or otherwise traumatize it.

Other symptoms consist of:

  • tongue discomfort
  • ear pain
  • problem swallowing
  • a swelling in the neck or throat

Depending upon how advanced the cancer is, you may require surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment.

Who Gets Red Spots on the Tongue?

Anyone can develop spots on the tongue. Spots are usually temporary and not hazardous. You’re at increased risk for oral issues if you utilize tobacco items, abuse alcohol, or have a weakened immune system.

The risk of tongue cancer increases with age and is more common in men. African-American males have tongue cancer regularly than Caucasians. Other threat elements for tongue cancer include:

  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • having the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Identifying the Cause

Dental practitioners are trained to examine your mouth and tongue for signs of oral cancer and other conditions. It’s a good idea to see your dental practitioner two times each year for an extensive examination.

If you have spots on your tongue for more than a few weeks and you have no idea the cause, see your dental practitioner or doctor.

Numerous tongue spots and bumps, such as thrush and black hairy tongue, can be diagnosed on look alone. You’ll still wish to inform your physician about:

  • other symptoms, such as pain or lumps in your mouth, neck, or throat.
  • all the medications and supplements you take.
  • whether you smoke or have smoked in the past.
  • whether you drink alcohol or have done so in the past.
  • whether or not you have actually a compromised body immune system.
  • your personal and family history of cancer.

Despite the fact that many spots are safe and clear up without treatment, spots and bumps on your tongue or throughout the mouth can be a sign of cancer.

If your medical professional suspects tongue cancer, you may need some imaging tests, such as X-rays or positron emission tomography (PET) scans. A biopsy of the suspicious tissue can help your physician identify for sure if it’s cancerous or not.


You can’t entirely avoid tongue spots. Nevertheless, there are some ways to reduce your risk, including:.

  • not smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
  • consuming alcohol only in moderation.
  • getting routine oral examinations.
  • reporting unusual symptoms of the tongue and mouth to your medical professional.
    if you’ve had issues with tongue spots previously, ask your physician for special oral care guidelines.

Great everyday oral hygiene consists of:

  • brushing your teeth.
  • washing.
  • flossing.
  • mild brushing of your tongue.
Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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