Last Updated on May 8, 2023
HPV Bumps On the Tongue: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. About 80% of women may get HPV at least once in their lifetime while other estimates suggest almost all women get it. In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that all American adults contract HPV at least once during their lifetime. The majority of people will spontaneously eliminate the virus and have no idea they were exposed to the virus. Sexual partners who have been together for a long time are more likely to spread HPV to each other.
Mostly, after growth, they stick around for months or may even take several years to resolve! One should not ignore HPV bumps on the back of the tongue especially if they persist for more than 6 month time (as it may be a sign of oral cancer). Continue reading this blog to find out more about HPV bumps on the back of the tongue and HPV.
What do HPV Bumps on the Tongue Look Like?
HPV causes small, white, beige, or brown-colored skin growths that can appear on all body surfaces, especially on the moist mucous membranes near the mouth, anus, and genitals. HPV bumps on the back of the tongue may look like a raised fluid-filled structure.
Since HPV bumps on the back of the tongue are contagious, they may spread from person to person. This makes them a common occurrence in the oral cavity and as a result, about 80 million people in the United States have HPV bumps on the tongue.
Causes HPV Bumps On the Tongue
More than 150 types of HPV infections can cause warts or HPV bumps. These can be transmitted in multiple ways:
- If your partner has genital warts, engaging in oral sexual activities may cause HPV bumps on the back of the tongue. It is also possible to contract warts if you engage in open-mouth kissing.
- Warts are transmissible upon touching an active site through hands. If one feels a wart and then touches the mouth, HPV bumps on the back of the tongue can quickly develop.
- The more sexual partners one has, the more likely they are to develop these bumpy HPV bumps on the back of the tongue.
- A weakened immune system.
- A break in the skin or mucous membrane continuity.
- Smoking can cause cuts and tears in the mouth increasing the chances of developing oral cancer.
- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can cause HPV in men especially if combined with smoking.
Types of Oral Warts or HPV Bumps on the Tongue
Human papillomavirus can manifest in many ways. About 40 types of HPV can cause HPV bumps on the tongue. More common ones include:
The HPV strains 6 and 11 cause cauliflower-like lesions to grow. They will, however, resolve without medical intervention, although it might take years. Therefore, if someone discovers wart-like bumps within their mouth or on the tongue as a result of HPV, they should contact a healthcare professional. Aside from the tongue, this abnormal growth is a frequent occurrence on the tonsils, palate, gums, pharynx, epiglottis, and other areas.
Common Wart – Verruca Vulgaris
Common warts usually grow and spread from the hands because of HPV strain numbers 2 and 4. It typically appears in areas with a higher risk of damage and can develop on any skin portion or mucocutaneous surface.
Condyloma Acuminate is a result of HPV strains 2, 6, and 11. These HPV bumps are initially found in the genital area. But, if the infected individuals indulge in oral sexual contact or touch the affected area, it will spread inside the oral cavity.
Focal Epithelial Hyperplasia
Heck’s disease is another name for Focal Epithelial Hyperplasia, and the pimples on the tongue are caused by HPV strains 13 and 32. The HPV bumps on the back of the tongue that grows inside the oral cavity contain papules of white or pink color in this condition, giving it a cobblestone look. It mostly affects the oral mucosa, lips, and tongue in children aged 3 to 18, but it can occur at any age.
HPV Bumps on the Tongue Treatment
Usually, HPV bumps on the back of the tongue subside without needing much medical attention. However, this may take up to 2 years to fully resolve. On the contrary, topical creams are usually ineffective when it comes to HPV bumps on the tongue. Even though tongue HPV bumps on the back of the tongue are usually harmless, they can be an unpleasant experience, especially during eating or talking.
One should not hesitate to speak with their dentist or dermatologist about possible treatment options for an HPV bump on the tongue that doesn’t improve or one which you would want to be removed.
The following treatments options are currently available for HPV bumps on the tongue:
Involves extremely cold substances, such as liquid nitrogen to freeze off the abnormal tissue growth.
Uses a high-frequency electric current to electric current to cut through the wart and eliminate abnormal cells or tissue growth.
Sometimes, healthcare professionals may want to remove the wart under general anesthesia. Surgical removal of HPV bumps on the tongue is the best-recommended treatment.
Research shows that trichloroacetic acid is effective for HPV bumps on the tongue. Three 30–60 second applications can remove warts within 45 days.
While imiquimod is often a treatment for external warts, researchers have found this topical cream effective and well-tolerated in the mouth.
All in all, HPV bumps on the tongue or oral warts are a very frequent condition affecting the masses. The human papillomavirus is the usual cause and it can be transmitted through sexual activity such as oral sex. They usually resolve on their own and are nothing to worry about. However, research has shown long-term, persistent oral warts may be linked to cancer.
Currently, there are not many treatment options for HPV bumps on the back of the tongue. This reiterates the need for better and more advanced treatments which is why Revive Research Institute is investigating novel therapies from time to time.