Bumps on the Roof of Mouth: Causes, Home Remedies and Prevention

bumps on roof of mouth

Getting bumps or ulcers in the mouth can be painful at times. You can also get bumps on the roof of the mouth, also known as the palate.

A bump on roof of the mouth isn’t a big concern unless it is painful. However, if the bumps last for two weeks or more and are accompanied by fever or vomiting, you should see your doctor.

This article discusses the possible causes and home remedies to get rid of the cysts on the roof of your mouth.

Bumps on the Roof of the Mouth: 10 Possible Causes

Sores or bumps on the roof of the mouth can make daily activities like eating, talking, drinking difficult. Therefore, it is important to know the underlying causes.

1. Smoking or Smoker’s Palate

Smoking, especially using a cigar or pipe results in smoker’s palate or nicotine stomatitis (1). These bumps occur due to prolonged smoking or heat generated in the mouth due to smoking.

The bumps appear whitish with a red depression at the center. Pipe smoking produces more heat than other methods of smoking.

Drinking hot beverages can increase smoker’s palate, even if you have a slight background of smoking. These lumps on the roof of your mouth will go away on their own when you stop smoking.

2. Torus Palatinus

The torus palatinus is a bony protrusion on the palate of the mouth. The growth is pretty common and doesn’t cause any harm.

The average size of the lump is around two centimeters, but may also vary. It can come in all shapes and sizes, and it may change over time. It may appear as a hard nodule, round, or spindle shaped.

Larger bumps on the roof of the mouth can cause issues with eating and drinking. The area where torus palatinus is located doesn’t have the enough blood vessels. Thus, if you happen to injure this part, the injury may take longer to heal. The lump on the roof of mouth grows as the person ages.

3. Mucocele

It is a lump or cyst-like bulge that grows in your mouth. It typically shows up as a bump on the roof of the mouth. The primary cause is usually a blockage of the salivary glands (2).

Normally, the saliva drains from the salivary glands into the mouth. If the saliva can’t drain properly, it builds up and leads to a soft bump. The lumps can appear all over the mouth as salivary glands are located in various parts.

The bumps are soft and benign unless you eat something that is too hot. Spicy, hot or any hard food irritates the bump. Mucoceles clear up on their own, but topical medications or steroid injections can be used to speed up the healing process.

4. Canker Sores

Canker sores are common, non-contagious ulcers that appear in the mouth. They can cause a lot of pain and irritation when trying to eat or talk. They typically last for a week. The primary causes include:

  • Weak immune system
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Gastrointestinal infection
  • Injury from dental tools like dentures, or braces

The sores will often cause a tingling or burning sensation before they show up. Canker sores heal on their own.

5. Tooth Abscess

It is a painful infection that occurs at the root of the tooth (3). It can also occur between the tooth and the gum. You may notice bumps on the roof of the mouth if the infection is severe. The bumps will typically appear near the tooth that’s infected.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Fever

A dentist will drain the abscess and may also carry out surgery to remove traces of the dead tissue.

6. Oral Cancer

A bump on roof of mouth that has been around for a long time may point to oral cancer. It can also affect cheeks, lips, tongue and may spread to other areas of the mouth.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Sore or bump that doesn’t heal
  • A bump on roof of mouth that bleeds
  • Jaw pain
  • Painful chewing

You should seek urgent medical help if you experience the above symptoms. Oral cancer is a life threatening condition.

7. Epstein Pearls

You often notice these benign bumps in newborns. Epstein pearls is a painless and harmless condition. These bumps are white or yellow in color and affect over 80% of children.

They will typically go away on their own, but if there is recurrence you should consult with a pediatrician.

8. Exostosis or Mandibular Torus

Exostosis (4) appears on the roof of the mouth and lower jaw’s tongue side. These bumps in the mouth are more protruding than the other bumps. Eating hard or spicy food may injure these bumps.

It may lead to bruises, and eventually cause painful ulcers and sores that are hard to heal.

9. Maxillary Sinus Growth

Maxilla bone is present near the upper jaw. Maxillary sinus cancer is when maxilla bone grows abnormally (5). It leads to swelling of upper palate, and you may also notice bumps on the roof of mouth.

People who suffer from the condition may have a lost sense of smell, headaches, and nasal sores.

10. Incisive Papilla

When bumps show up behind the front teeth, this could be a sign of incisive papilla. It is a common condition. However, you should see a dentist when the bumps grow larger.

What is the Hard Bump on the Roof of My Mouth?

A bump on the roof of your mouth will initially start as a pimple. It then grows, hardens, and becomes sore and irritated. Depending on what is causing the bumps they will either be white or red. The hard bumps could be ulcers, STD’s, allergies, mouth cancer, or canker sores, or some other infections.

If you happen to have a hard bump that hurts, it could be from a tooth abscess. It could also be due to injury or infection to the area.

Treatments for Bumps on the Roof of the Mouth

Bumps in the mouth are common, but it can be concerning when they start to turn into a sore.

If dehydration is the cause, then drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcohol will help.

In the case of canker sores and a few other types of bumps, it is best to steer clear of hot spicy foods. Avoid any food that can make the condition worse, and let it clear up on its own. Medicines containing glycerin and peroxide can help treat canker sores.

If the bacterial sinus infection causes severe pain, take antibiotics under medical supervision. Rinsing your mouth with goldenseal root tea will help ease the pain.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bumps on the Roof of the Mouth

If you feel that your mouth has been injured or infected, it would be best to consult with a medical professional. Here are some effective home treatments for bumps on the roof of the mouth.

1. Mouth Wash

Using mouth wash can help to clean out the infected area and speed up the healing process some. Mouth wash can also help reduce mouth dryness and keep your mouth hydrated.

2. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera has many known healing effects. Applying aloe vera juice to the sores may help to alleviate the pain.

The best way to use aloe vera is to cut open an aloe vera leaf, scoop out the gel, and apply it to the affected area. Gargling with aloe vera juice is another home remedy for mouth bumps.

3. Drink Cold Milk

Milk and dairy are excellent sources of protein and carbohydrates. Try drinking some cold milk and swishing it around in your mouth like mouth wash. It may take away some of the pain. You can also try this with buttermilk.

4. Avoid Spicy Food

Spicy foods will irritate your mouth and make you dehydrated. It will increase the risk of spreading the infection.

5. Have a Healthy and Well-Balanced Diet

Eating nutritious food will help boost your immunity which will speed up the recovery. Plain yogurt is an excellent natural cure for avoiding canker sores.

6. Wet Black Tea Bag

Apply a wet black tea bag to the affected area to reduce the inflammation and swelling.

7. Avoid Salt and Acidic Food

Avoid eating salty or acidic food if the bump is injured or split open. Keep away from foods such as:

  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts
  • Oranges
  • Lemons

8. Apply Baking Soda

This remedy for mouth bumps has been around for quite a long time. It works best if you apply it to the sore area two to three times a day until healed.

9. Use Soft Toothbrush

Use a soft toothbrush until the bump on roof of the mouth is gone. A hard or medium toothbrush can cause damage and aggravate the condition.

10. Chewing Gum

Chewing gum will help to alleviate some of the burning sensation. It will also help to produce saliva and keep your mouth hydrated.

11. Apply Honey

Honey can be helpful in reducing the burning sensation. Apply it on the affected area to get some relief.

How to Prevent Bumps on the Roof of the Mouth

It’s a lot harder to get rid of something than preventing it. The same thing can be said about bumps on the roof of your mouth.

1. Avoid Excessive Drinking

Drinking alcohol makes you dehydrated. Dehydration and dry mouth increase the risk of developing mouth bumps.

2. Let Your Food Cool

Letting your food cool down is essential to prevent bumps. If your food is too hot and you put it in your mouth it can cause a rash, blister, burn or bumps.

3. Try and Relax

The more stressed out you’re, the more likely you’re to develop the mouth bumps. Trying to keep calm is vital. It’s hard to say that in the environment we live in. However, reducing the stress can help you prevent a lot of health issues.

4. Maintain Oral Hygiene

Maintaining oral hygiene is important. Brushing your teeth frequently, using the mouthwash, and cleaning in between with floss will help prevent cysts on the roof of the mouth.

When to See a Doctor?

Mouth is the most sensitive part of our body. Home remedies will surely help to ease the lump on the roof of your mouth.

Seek a professional medical aid when you notice the following symptoms:

  • The bump is growing in size, day by day
  • The bump is extremely painful
  • If it doesn’t subside on its’ own after a month
  • If blood leaks out of the wound

Bumps on the roof of the mouth shouldn’t be a major concern unless accompanied by the above symptoms. It is always better to practice hygiene and prevent it at the first place.

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Dr. David Cummings, MD

David Cummings, MD, is a medical reviewer and editor at Daily Health Cures. David received his medical degree from the University of Illinois.