The potential causes of roof-of-the-mouth soreness vary, but the number one question is whether it’ll require medical attention. Read on to find out when the time is right to ask a professional about a bump on the roof of the mouth.
- Torus palatinus
This is a smooth, hard bump on the roof of your mouth, usually centered on the hard palate, just behind the upper front teeth. According to studies, torus palatinus is more common in women. This painless growth could have been present from birth and is only a cause for concern if it increases in size. If the bump reaches a point where it begins to feel cumbersome, a health care provider or dentist may recommend having it surgically removed.
- Canker sores (aphthous ulcers)
These are small, yellow, red, or white spots that develop on the roof of the mouth inside the cheeks or on the tongue. Although painful, canker sores are not contagious. There’s a difference between simple (minor) and complex (major) canker sores. The former come from stress, tissue injury, or eating processed foods that inflame the area. The complex variety, however, could indicate an iron or vitamin deficiency created by unhealthy eating habits. Most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two with good oral hygiene as long as there’s no further injury or irritation.
- Cold sores (fever blisters)
These highly contagious, fluid-filled blisters form on or around the lips and can appear in multiple spots on the roof of the mouth. They may cause an itching, burning sensation before they burst, form a crust, and start to heal. Brought on by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are contagious even when blisters aren’t visible. It’s spread through close contact such as touching, kissing, or oral sex. Symptoms include fevers, headaches, and muscle aches. There’s currently no cure available, but antiviral drugs (e.g., acyclovir creams and tablets) help promote healing, prevent frequent outbreaks, and alleviate certain symptoms.