What Causes White Bumps on the Side of the Tongue?

Oral thrush and leukoplakia cause white bumps on the side of the tongue, as stated by WebMD. Oral thrush develops as a result of candida yeast, while leukoplakia is a largely harmless cell overgrowth.

Oral thrush is a condition that produces white patches throughout the mouth, including the tongue. It is common in infants, people who wear dentures and those who have a weakened immune system because of conditions like HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy or diabetes.

Leukoplakia arises when the cells on the tongue grow too fast. Although it is not a dangerous condition on its own, it can act as a precursor to oral cancer. Therefore, those who experience it should look out for other signs and discuss the matter with their dentist.