You have discovered small growths on your tongue that are starting to become painful. Your friend said they could be warts and said they could be from having oral sex. Your mind is whirling with questions. Is your friend’s information accurate? Does this mean you can’t ever have oral sex again? Most important, how can you get rid of warts on tongue? You’ve eliminated other warts with duct tape, but that isn’t going to work on your tongue. Will tongue warts go away by themselves? Keep reading. We have the answers to your questions here.
Table of Contents
- What Are Tongue Warts?
- What Causes Warts
- Are HPV Warts on My Tongue Serious?
- Tongue Warts Removal
What Are Tongue Warts?
Many people rarely think about their tongue and often underestimate how important that organ is. You may immediately think about taste, but your tongue also aids with chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Additionally, experts can diagnose conditions elsewhere in your body by looking at lumps, bumps, and discolorations on your tongue.
Tongues are very flexible muscular organs. Your tongue has three parts: a tip, a body, and a base. It’s coated with a thin layer of mucous. A healthy tongue appears pink. It’s covered with small bumps called papillae. Any deviation from the color or surface can be a cause for concern. Warts on your tongue are a symptom of a viral infection that can require attention.
Why Do Warts Grow on My Tongue?
Tongues provide the warm and moist conditions in which warts flourish. The virus that causes warts enters through tiny breaks in your skin, and your tongue can offer easy access. Tongue warts are usually either common warts or genital warts. You will soon be aware of either one of them.
You can usually see them if you stick out your tongue, but they can also:
- Be painful,
- Interfere with eating or drinking,
- Make distinct speech difficult.
Like all warts, warts on tongue are contagious.
A Wart by Any Other Name
The medical name for wart is verruca. Most have a secondary name, which can refer to its location on your body or its appearance. These include:
- Verruca plana: flat warts,
- Verruca vulgaris: common warts,
- Verruca filiformis: Filiform warts,
- Verruca: plantar warts,
- Mosaic: a tight cluster of plantar warts,
- Periungual: warts under finger or toe nails,
- Anogenital: warts in sex organs or anus.
By whatever name it’s called, a wart is the symptom of a contagious viral infection.
What Causes Warts
All warts are caused by the human papilloma virus. There are more than 100 types of HPV, only a few of which cause warts. One HPV type is responsible for common warts, which are normally found on your hands and fingers. A different HPV type causes genital and anal warts. Although warts in general are harmless growths, untreated genital warts can lead to cancers in male and female sexual organs.
If you have common warts, it’s essential to keep your hands away from your mouth. Trying to chew off your warts practically guarantees that you’ll end up with warts on lips, as this article explains. Common warts on your fingers can easily infect your tongue.
The Back of My Tongue?
Warts are skin cells that have been invaded by HPV. The virus DNA becomes a part of the skin cells, making them grow abnormally. At the present time there is no cure for HPV. Only your immune system can eliminate it.
Because the wart tissue is filled with viral cells, warts are extremely contagious. If you have a wart on any part of your tongue, it can be easily irritated. An irritated wart will shed part of its outer surface. Those contagious cells can move to other parts of your mouth, including the back of your tongue. You can learn more here about the causes of a wart in mouth and how it can spread.
How Did Genital Warts Get on My Tongue?
Genital warts are contracted through sexual activity, primarily by having oral sex with a person who is infected with HPV. If you have had more than one sexual partner, or if your partner has had sex with others, one or both of you are more than likely infected. You may not know it because HPV can be dormant in your system for weeks, months, or years. A person can spread the virus even if he or she has no visible warts.
Any type of wound on your tongue exposes you to a genital wart infection when there is any contact between your mouth and your partner’s mouth or genitalia. That includes deep kissing as well as oral sex. You will find more information here about how you may develop genital warts on gums as well as on your tongue.
What Are the Symptoms
Tongue warts usually start as small red bumps on the:
- Tip of your tongue,
- Side of your tongue,
- Top of your tongue.
You usually just have one wart in the beginning, but they can quickly spread.
Although all warts can be easily irritated and can become painful, genital warts on the side your tongue are usually the most painful. That because they are constantly rubbing against your teeth. The friction can cause the warts to break open. That spreads the virus to other parts of your tongue. In the worst cases, your tongue will be scarred.
Are HPV Warts on My Tongue Serious?
Although all warts are caused by HPV, when individuals refer to HPV warts, they usually mean genital warts. Your tongue is an internal organ, but the surface of it is covered with cells similar to your outer skin. Tongues are easily injured and HPV takes advantage of that vulnerability.
HPV warts are associated with certain cancers if left untreated. Genital warts on your tongue require medical attention to lessen your risk of developing malignant lesions on your tongue. Diagnosis can sometimes be difficult, because sometimes you don’t notice the small growths until too late.
Genital warts on your tongue can be acquired by:
- Oral sex with an infected person.
- Kissing a person with tongue warts.
- Sharing personal hygiene products with an infected person.
- Touching your own warts, then touching your mouth.
Keep in mind that it isn’t the warts themselves that you are catching; it’s the virus that causes them.
Why Didn’t My Immune System Stop HPV?
Individuals with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop warts.
These include people who:
- Are chronically stressed.
- Are undergoing chemo or radiation treatments.
- Consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Have HIV or AIDS.
- Take certain medications.
People who have many sexual partners are at increased risk for genital warts and HPV tongue warts.
Tongue Warts Removal
Tongue warts, like other warts, can potentially go away without treatment. That can take a couple of years and generally is not advisable. HPV tongue warts can lead to complications and put you at risk for serious problems if left untreated.
That said, treatment can be more difficult for tongue warts than it is for other warts. You really can’t isolate your tongue so that it can be independently treated from the rest of your body.
Other difficulties include the facts that:
- Tongues also have lots of nerve endings, so many treatments are going to be painful.
- Toxic products can’t be used because you’ll eventually swallow them.
- It’s not feasible to avoid eating, drinking, or talking while your tongue heals.
- Some tongue warts too difficult to reach for effective treatment.
If you purchase any over the counter removal product, make sure it’s safe to use internally.
How Will a Professional Treat My Warts?
You are well-advised to consult a dentist or other health care professional for a diagnosis before any treatment. If your tongue warts are making the transition from benign to malignant, medical attention is imperative. You need to find a specialist who can remove them.
Removal procedures for tongue warts include:
- Application of antiviral creams,
- Destruction with a laser,
- Freezing them with liquid nitrogen,
- Injections to stimulate your immune system.
Factors your specialist will take into consideration in choosing the best procedure include the size of the warts and their location on your tongue.
What Products Will Effectively Remove My Warts?
Safe over the counter products for tongue warts are few and far between. Many individuals like to try home remedies before consulting a medical professional. Most involve food items to avoid consuming toxic substances.
Some you might try include:
- Rubbing the white inside of a banana peel against the wart several times a day. Read more here.
- Rubbing a slice of raw potato against the wart several times a day.
- Dabbing aloe vera gel on the wart with a cotton ball several times a day.
- Dabbing fresh pineapple juice or any citrus juice on the wart several times a day.
- Holding a bit of mashed garlic against your wart several times a day. Read more here.
You will have to experiment, as the remedies don’t work for everyone. In general, it will take up to two weeks before you see any improvement.
Thuja Is Tried and True
Thuja occidentalis is a proven homeopathic wart killer. It’s available in various formulations, including tablets. You can try crushing a tablet and applying the powder on your tongue wart, but you’re better off to consume the tablets according to the label instructions. Further details can be found here.
Tongue warts can be small, but can be more dangerous than other warts. Sometimes they are common warts, but more often they’re genital warts and can become malignant if not treated. The only sure way to avoid genital warts anywhere is to abstain from all sexual or intimate activity. That’s not within reason for most individuals. Your best choices are to strengthen your immune system so that HPV is repelled and to promptly treat any warts that do appear.