In this article, learn what can cause a bump on the roof of the mouth, including possible additional symptoms and when to see a doctor.
1. Canker sores
Canker sores are round, open sores in the mouth. They may be white, yellow, or pale pink and are very sensitive.
Canker sores are most common in the cheeks and gums, but they can also appear in unusual places, such as the roof of the mouth.
There are various causes of canker sores, including biting the cheek while chewing and scratching the roof of the mouth.
These sores usually resolve within a couple of weeks. They are not contagious, but they can be painful or uncomfortable and may make eating difficult.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription oral creams may numb the pain.
Hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, or foods that have just finished cooking can burn the inside of the mouth, including the roof. If the burn is severe enough, a bump or blister can form.
Minor burns usually heal without treatment, as long as the person takes care to avoid irritating the sensitive skin.
Oral candidiasis is a form of yeast infection that may cause red or white bumps in the mouth.
It is vital to see a doctor or dentist for a proper diagnosis of oral candidiasis, as the symptoms may mimic those of other conditions.
A doctor is likely to recommend oral antifungal medication to treat the issue. They will also provide advice on how to prevent the infection in the future.
8. Hand, foot, and mouth disease
Coxsackievirus is the name of the virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). The virus infects the mouth, causing painful blisters and red bumps.
As the name suggests, the symptoms may also appear on the hands and feet. Other symptoms include fever and body aches.
HFMD is more common in young children, but it can affect anyone. Doctors may prescribe medicated mouthwash to help relieve symptoms while they treat the virus.
9. Epstein pearls
Parents who notice lumps in a baby’s mouth may be seeing Epstein pearls. These are cysts that commonly appear in newborns.
Epstein pearls are white or yellow and will go away a few weeks after the birth without causing any additional problems.
In rare cases, sores or bumps on the roof of the mouth may be cancerous. Bumps that occur due to oral cancer may be white, gray, or bright red, depending on the underlying cause. They may feel smooth or velvety.
Possible signs of oral cancer include:
- a lump or sore that does not heal
- a rapidly growing lump
- an oddly shaped patch of tissue
- open, bleeding sores
However, oral cancer is not the most likely cause of a bump on the roof of the mouth. Many people may confuse signs of oral cancer with other issues in the mouth.
It is crucial to give the sores time to heal. If a bump shows no signs of healing after 2 weeks, it is essential to speak to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
When to see a doctor
While many bumps on the roof of the mouth will resolve without treatment, some may require medical intervention. A person should see a doctor for:
- very discolored patches in the mouth
- pain lasting more than a couple of days
- a foul smell in the mouth
- pain when chewing or swallowing
- severe burns
- dentures, retainers, or other dental devices that no longer fit properly
- trouble breathing
- a fast-growing bump
- a bump that changes shape
- a bump that does not go away after 2 weeks
- a bump that interferes with daily life
Anyone who is concerned about a bump on the roof of their mouth should speak to a doctor, who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment if necessary.
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