It is generally obvious to feel worried about the appearance of a strange bump or lump anywhere in your body.
However, it is terrifying especially when it’s in the mouth. One of the most prevailing question dentists are facing today is of lumps or bumps appearing on the roof of the mouth. This condition is very tricky as the hard palate is a complicated part of the mouth.
While some normal structures in the mouth are already existing in the form of bumps but a few bumps can be a sign of a serious disease.
In this article, a brief description of the causes of bumps on the roof of the mouth, its treatment, and its home remedies are explained.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Bump On The Roof Of Mouth?
There can be various possible causes behind these abnormal bumps that appear on the roof of your mouth. If you have any kind of bumps or lumps its always good to consult an oral practitioner to make sure that everything is fine.
So here is the list of some causes:
1. Incisive Papilla
In such cases, a professional medical practitioner can only tell if your incisive papilla is really enlarged or is it just a temporary irritation. So, if you have such kind of bump that is not going then prefer consulting an oral practitioner.
Smoking is a possible cause behind such condition. It happens particularly when you are using a pipe or cigar. Eventually, resulting in what is referred to as smoker’s palate or nicotine stomatitis.
Bump caused by smoking is marked by reddish depression occurring in the center of the hard palate.
3. Dental Issues
This condition is marked by food caries in the upper jaw. When you eat something that is thin and fibrous it gets collected in your upper jaw and is generally referred as food carries.
Sometimes, these bumps on the roof of your mouth can also indicate mucocele. It is marked by a lump that looks like a cyst which is harmless.2 This lump on your hard palate can be a result of the blockage of salivary glands.
Mucocele can be caused when:
In normal circumstances, saliva usually drains from your glands to mouth. However, when an obstruction of the ducts occurs in your throat, the saliva gets stuck inside.3
This eventually leads to a soft and painless bump which is bluish or pearly in color.
One major cause of this obstruction of the salivary gland is frequent sucking or biting inside the mouth.
5. Torus Platinum
When a bony protrusion occurs in the roof or palate of the mouth, it is called torus platinum. This growth is not a serious issue to be concerned about.4
It is quite normal and does not cause any harm. In most cases, this growth has a diameter of 2cm.
Although, this size can vary from person to person. It can even vary according to time. As it is seen, this type of growth increases in size as the person grows older.
6. Epstein Pearls
When these bumps occur in the mouth of newborn or young kids, it is called Epstein pearls. These bumps affect almost 80% of kids and are quite normal, harmless and painless.
Epstein pearls are also referred to as gingival or palatal cysts.[de Carvalho JF, Pereira RM, Shoenfeld Y. Pearls in autoimmunity. Auto Immun Highlights. 2011 May;2(1):1-4.]] They consist of a yellowish or white bump on roof of mouth or gums.
Usually, they require no special treatment and fades away within a few weeks. However, you may need to consult a pediatrician in case they persist after several weeks.
7. Oral Cancer
If not diagnosed and treated early enough, it can spread to other parts of your body as well. It can badly affect the tonsils, lips, cheeks, sinuses, the roof of the mouth, the floor of the mouth, glands, throat, and tongue.
Oral cancer can be identified by some dark and irregular lumps occurring in different parts of your mouth.
8. Maxillary Sinus Growths
There is a bone in the upper jaw region of your mouth, called maxilla bone. When this bone starts growing abnormally, it starts to cause swelling which protrudes out through upper palate.6
As a result, this swelling is seen as a bump on the roof of your mouth. If you feel that you are facing this issue, you might even experience other symptoms like a lost sense of smell, nasal sores and headaches.
8. Exostosis/Mandibular Torus
This particular condition is known to occur in the roof of your mouth as well as on the side of lower jaw’s tongue. In this condition, the extra protruding can be easily injured by hard or sharp food.
This can afterward cause painful sores or ulcers. It might even get difficult to heal if the area gets bruised in a bad way while eating.`
9. Mouth Ulcers And Spots On The Roof Of Mouth
Mouth ulcers are oval sores that usually develop in the mouth. The common areas that are affected by this condition are inside of cheeks and lips. These ulcers might appear as yellow, red or white bumps.
Possible causes of mouth ulcers are:
- Feeling stressed or anxious.
- Eating certain foods.
- hormonal changes or an end to smoking.
- Iron deficiency, anemia or Crohn’s disease.
10. Canker Sores On The Roof Of Mouth
A canker sore on the palate is identified as a small bump (shallow lesion) that develops on the soft tissues of the soft palate of your mouth. It mostly appears on your gums and can be very painful to you.7
Before canker sore bumps appear on the roof of your mouth or near the throat, you might experience a tingling, burning or prickling sensation. Thus, resulting in a yellow, white or grey colored bumps with a red ring around the sores.
11. Itchy Bumps Due To Allergies
Sometimes, bumps can appear in your mouth due to allergic reactions also. These allergic reactions can be caused due to foods, medications and even vaccines.8
Although, in some cases, these bumps are not a result of allergic reactions. It can be lichen planus which produces similar small itchy bumps that can be confused by an allergic reaction.
In such cases, it can cause the swollen roof of the mouth, enlarged uvula, and throat, difficulty in swallowing, talking and breathing. It is highly advised to rush to a hospital as soon as possible.
12. STD’s, Herpes And HIV Infections
Bumps or lumps on the roof of the mouth can also be a result of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and oral Herpes.
HIV and AIDS are the type of viral infections that weaken the immune system, causing oral thrush or yeast infections in your mouth. This manifests painful bumps on the palate, back of your throat and also around the mouth.
13. Lump After A Root Canal Or Due To Braces
Sometimes, after a root canal or a surgery, you might experience a hard lump on the roof of your mouth, near the gums of your upper teeth.9
They start as a pimple on your gum and persists for a while. These type of bumps usually occur as a result of yeast infection in the mouth due to bad oral hygiene.
14. Sore Bump Due To Tongue Ring
If you have a tongue piercing in your mouth, then the sore or bump on the roof of your mouth might be related to the tongue ring you wear. This can be explained as follows:
The tongue in your mouth rests on the palate with a little pressure, after your mouth is closed. Now, the ring being a foreign object can irritate your palate. Thus, resulting in the formation of a bump on the roof of your mouth.
The other reason can also be that the infection due to tongue piercing starts spreading in your mouth. Eventually, resulting in painful lumps to form on the roof of your mouth.
15. Adenocarcinoma And Swollen Salivary Glands
The palate or the upper part of the mouth consists of minor salivary glands. These glands can sometimes get swelled up with infection or oral cancer.10 One of such cancer is Adenocarcinoma which highly affects the salivary glands located on the palate.
Adenocarcinoma is very common especially among reverse smokers ( those who smoke with the lit end of the cigarette placed inside the mouth ) as well as pipe smokers.
When Should You Worry?
There are some cases where these bumps on the roof of your mouth will appear for no good reason and will disappear on its own.
Although, if these bumps do not go away after a period of time, then you need to consider the above-mentioned causes seriously.
Also, you should contact your medical practitioner if the following happens with your bumps:
- They get bigger in size.
- Bleeding occurs
- They cause extreme pain.
- They last for more than 2 weeks.
What Are The Treatments For Lump On The Roof The Mouth?
1. Radiation, Chemotherapy, And Surgery
In the case of oral cancer or adenocarcinoma, a proper surgical treatment is required to remove the cancerous cells from your mouth. It is usually done with the help of a local anesthesia.
In other cases, chemotherapy can also be used for the treatment of cancerous bump on the roof of your mouth. One of the common characteristics of both the therapies is that they kill cancer infecting cells and prevents them from spreading to other parts of your body.
2. Excision To Remove Mouth Bumps
Some bumps on the roof of the mouth like mucoceles go away without any treatment. However, if they persist for a long time and keep coming back, then excision of the bump is required to be done.
In such conditions, treatment like Marsupialization can be done in order to develop a new salivary gland. It will help in draining the saliva and mucus from the lump formed on the roof of your mouth.
3. Antibiotics And Antiviral Medications
In the case of an infection, an oral pathologist will generally describe some antiviral or antibiotics in order to get rid of the pathogens that are causing the bumps on the roof of your mouth.
These oral antibiotics are given on the basis cause of these bumps. Usually, if you have a strep throat or some other kind of bacterial infection, then your doctor will prescribe you a complete course of medication.
Some medical conditions like HIV and AIDS may require antiviral treatments in order to manage the symptoms. So as an overall review, taking vitamin supplements can also help in fighting viral infections and in improving your immune system.
4. Quit Smoking
This is one of the most obvious steps you can take if you want to prevent further bumps and lumps on the roof of your mouth.
It is so because when you smoke or drink alcohol in an excessive manner, then your mouth gets prone to a white coat of white and yellowish patches.
This further contributes to bad odor and increased chances of bacterial infection in your mouth and also in the back of your throat.
Hence, in order to get rid of these bumps, you should quit both smoking and chewing tobacco. Drink plenty of water so that your mouth is hydrated.
It will prevent the dryness in the mouth, bad odour and unnecessary irritation caused in your mouth due to smoking.
5. Other General Treatments
Some other treatments based on the underlying cause of the growth are as follows
- Laser treatment
- Mouth rinsing 3-4 times a day with warm saline water
- Tropical medication
- Vitamin B complex supplements
- Reducing spicy foods from the daily diet.
- Taking vitamin supplements that will cover the vitamin deficiency.
What Are The Home Remedies?
There are various remedies available to treat this problem at home itself. It can be very beneficial in cases where you want to do a quick treatment.
All these remedies are discussed below:
1. Goldenseal Root
Make a tea containing goldenseal root. Gargle or rinse your mouth with this tea at least two to three times in a day. This will reduce the sore effect as it has its own antiseptic properties.
2. Black Tea
Applying a black tea bag over the affected area can help a lot. Black tea helps to reduce the swelling and thus gives relief.
3. Aloe Vera Juice
Gargle or rinse your mouth will aloe vera juice. It is the best home remedy to reduce lumps or bumps on the roof of the mouth.
Consume yogurt along with your regular diet. It is a valuable natural care for avoiding canker sores as far as possible.
5. Hot Pepper Sauce
Make a hot pepper sauce by mixing six drops of tabasco sauce with a teaspoon of water. Swish it around your mouth and spit it out. Repeat this four times a day. It will reduce the burning pain sensation in your mouth.
Apply raw honey ( Manuka honey ) on the roof of your mouth using a soft cotton. Repeat this 3-4 times a day. Continue this remedy until the cold sores go away.
7. Witch Hazel And Baking Soda
You can apply a paste of baking soda and water or witch hazel on the affected area. This will help you treat the canker sores as well as reducing the level of pain. It will speed up the healing process and will save you from all the discomfort.
Mouth bumps are generally nothing to worry about and go away with time. But, sometimes they can be an indication of an underlying problem so in that case consulting a doctor is must
|↑1||Shafer, Hine, Levy . Shafer’s Textbook of Oral Pathology. 4th ed. Japan: W.B. Saunders Co; 1983.|
|↑2||Baurmash H. The etiology of superficial oral mucoceles. J. Oral Maxillofacial Surgery. 2002;60:237–8.|
|↑3||Seifert G, Miehlke A, Haubrich J. Diseases of salivary glands. New York: Thieme; 1986. pp. 91–100. 12.|
|↑4||Landa. JS. The torus palatinus and its management in full denture construction. 1951.|
|↑5||El-Naaj I A, Leiser Y, Shveis M, Sabo E, Peled M. 2011. “Incidence of Oral Cancer Occult Metastasis and Survival of T1-T2N0 Oral Cancer Patients.” Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 69 (10): 2674–79.|
|↑6||Nishino H, Ichimura K, Tanaka H, et al. Results of orbital preservation for advanced malignant maxillary sinus tumors. Laryngoscope. 2003;113:1064–9.|
|↑7||Jennifer MacDonald. Canker sore remedies: baking soda. 2002.|
|↑8||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Oral Health (US) Oral health: preventing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. 2009 Jun 3.|
|↑9||Murray CA, Saunders WP. Root canal treatment and general health: a review of the literature. 2000.|
|↑10||Takeda Y, Suzuki A, Kuroda M, Fujioka Y, Takayama K. Minor salivary gland swelling in patient with Sjögren’s syndrome. 1987.|