Warts on Tongue

Warts are small lesions or bumps that can develop anywhere in the body and even inside the mouth. It can develop on the lips and tongue also but often they are painless and harmless. Tongue warts occur either as single or in groups. They are irregular in shape, size and texture. Warts are tiny and discrete bumps which are rough in shape and white or red in color. Warts on tongue are caused by viral infection and often they are transmitted through oral sex. Treatment is available in various forms from topical creams to laser therapy.

Risk Factors :

Oral warts are at high risk of developing in people who have sexually transmitted diseases. People with weak immunity are more prone to develop warts on tongue than others. Certain ethnic groups like Asians and black people are at high risk of developing oral warts. Those who are involved in meat industry like handling and processing meat are at high risk of developing oral warts. Oral warts are common in any age group but are high in young adults.

Causes :

It is the HPV virus that causes warts on tongue. There are hundreds of strains of human papilloma virus causing oral warts and genital warts. Among them HPV2, HPV13 and HPV32 are identified causing warts on tongue. The main method of spreading is through kissing the genitals. A person having poor genital hygiene can easily transmit the virus to their partners.

Symptoms :

When a person develops warts on tongue he would develop irritation while eating food and there can be difficulty in chewing food. It can cause painful sores on the tongue varying in shape and size. The presence of warts on tongue can cause discomfort and pain to the person. Some people will have problems in speaking due to irritation and discomfort. Warts appear as lesions or raised tiny section on the tongue.

Diagnosis :

No special test is required for detecting oral warts. It can be identified on physical exam.

Treatment :

Treatment of warts on tongue can be difficult due to its tiny size and location on the tongue. Topical creams and antiviral ointments can be applied on the warts which would destroy the virus and prevent further development of warts. Oral medications are given for managing pain and irritation. Some people believe that applying tea tree oil with cotton swab on the wart will destroy the virus gradually. Similarly you can get remedy by rubbing the banana peel or crushed potatoes on the warts for getting relief from irritation. Garlic is considered to have antiseptic properties and hence you can smash some garlic or use garlic paste on the warts to destroy them.

Surgical methods of removing warts include cryotherapy (by freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen), laser therapy (destroying it with laser beam), and injection (by injecting interpheron alpha) and gently cutting and removing it using specially sterilized instruments. Often the warts on tongue would recur on the same person. Avoid pricking or cutting the warts on your own since this can lead to complications of bleeding. Eat only soft and crushed foods that are soothing to the tongue.

Prevention :

You can prevent developing warts on tongue by wearing condoms while doing oral sex. Alternatively you can apply dental dams to prevent such infection. But even the above methods cannot guarantee total protection. You need to avoid having any type of sexual contact with the person having infection.

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