Identifying the Cause of Bumps on Roof of Mouth
The appearance of a bump anywhere in the body is a reason enough to be concerned. However, things can get even more complicated if they appear on roof of mouth. Many different causes may lead to bumps on roof of mouth, right from dental hygiene to other underlying health conditions existing in the body. Sometimes, they can even be an indicator of some major disease. Therefore, it is highly advisable to seek medical attention if you notice any strange bumps in and around your mouth, especially if they do not go away within a period of 10 months. This article covers in detail the various causes of a bump on roof of mouth, some special cases, and effective treatment methods.
Possible Causes of Bump on Roof of Mouth
Smokers, especially those who use a cigar or a pipe develop a condition that is generally known as nicotine stomatitis or also a smoker’s palate. When this happens, some white colored bumps may appear on the palate. These bumps often have a red colored depression in the center.
- Dental Issues
Sometimes, caries in the upper jaw can pass into the root canal, thereby leading to abscess formation. Not maintaining proper oral hygiene can lead to the accumulation of plaque which can also lead to bumps and gum swelling around the jaws. In most cases, the swelling occurs secondary to bumps on roof of mouth.
Sometimes, the bumps on roof of mouth could be a sign that you have mucocele. The condition starts off as a lump which is often mistaken for a cyst but is rather harmless. These lumps develop when the salivary glands get blocked due to certain reasons. Since the main function of these glands is to secrete saliva that helps with the ingestion and digestion of food, a blockage can cause pooling. Hence, painless soft bumps appear. These may range from pearly to bluish to pliable in appearance. Frequently biting or sucking the inner part of the mouth is one of the most common reasons leading to salivary gland obstruction.
- Torus Palatinus
Torus Palatinus is a condition in which you see a protrusion on the upper palate. The bump is bony and painless. This is quite a normal occurrence and doesn’t lead to any complications. Most of the times, these bumps measure about 2 cm in diameter. However, the size can easily vary from one person to the other. They can also change their shape and size with time. Normally, the Torus Palatinus grow bigger in size with increasing age of the person.
- Epstein Pearls
These are bumps that mostly occur among the newborns or young children. In fact, these types of bumps can occur in nearly 80% of the kids. Since these are painless and do not cause any harm, they are considered to be quite normal. These bumps are also commonly referred to as palatal or gingival cysts and have a whitish or a yellowish appearance. Since they go away of their own accord within a week or so, extra treatments are not required. A pediatrician should be consulted only if the problem persists for more than a few weeks.
- Oral Cancer
Bumps on roof of mouth that stay for a long period could be a sign that you may have oral cancer. If it is not identified and treated on time, the condition can prove to be fatal. These types of bumps do not only appear on the roof, but can also affect the cheeks, sinuses, glands, floor of the mouth, lips, tonsils, tongue and the throat. If the bumps are irregular and appear dark in color, they are often an indication that you might have oral cancer.
- Maxillary Sinus Growths
The maxilla is the bone that lies towards the upper part of the jaw. In case of maxillary sinus cancer, the condition often starts off by showing symptoms such as bumps that can be large enough to show up on the upper palate. If this arises as due to maxillary sinus growths, the patient will also experience a variety of other symptoms such as headaches, loss of olfactory senses, and nasal sores simultaneously.
- Mandibular Torus/ Exostosis
Exostosis, which is also commonly known as mandibular torus, is a condition that affects the base of the tongue on the lower jaw and also the roof of the mouth. These are no ordinary bumps, but often show up with an extra amount of protrusion. Hence, you may easily end up bruising these bumps while consuming sharp or hard food. This may lead to further complications such as ulcers and sores.
Sometimes, bums on roof of mouth are due to sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and HIV. The herpes simplex virus can cause blisters all over the roof of the mouth, the gums, lips, and around the mouth. These bumps and blisters are rather painful and can burst open anytime. They are mainly caused because of a weakening of the immune system due to the virus. They may also be accompanied by a yeast infection and oral thrush.
Sometimes, bumps on roof of mouth can occur due to burns arising out of a hot meal. This phenomenon is also known as pizza palate and may cause irritation, especially while eating and drinking. However, this will heal all by itself within 3 to 4 days. In meanwhile, you can consume soft foods that do not need a lot of chewing. Drinking hot tea, coffee and other drinks can also lead to pizza palate.
- Canker Sores
Canker sores mainly show up on the inner side of the cheeks. However, they can also appear on roof of mouth. These are round in shape and are highly sensitive. These are caused due to hormonal changes, selected food items, stress and a weakened immune system. One to three canker sores at a time is considered to be normal. They take about 1 to 2 weeks to disappear.
- Cold Sores
Cold sores are mainly caused due to herpes simplex virus and do not go away easily. They are mostly seen on the lips, but can also affect the upper palate. These bumps come out as blisters and are very painful. They can also burst open and lead to crust formation. These sores need regular care and maintenance.
- Incisive Papilla
It is incisive papilla when the bumps occur strictly behind the front teeth. The condition requires immediate medical care and may also enlarge if ignored.
- Mouth Ulcers
Sometimes, the bumps on roof of mouth are just mouth ulcers. They can vary from red to yellow to white in color. Mouth ulcers can arise as due to consumption of certain specific food items, stress, anxiety, hormonal changes and iron deficiency.
If the bumps are itchy, they are caused due to allergic reactions in the body. This can happen while taking certain vaccines, medicines, food or when the body is exposed to certain allergens. If the allergies get too severe, the patient should be taken to the hospital.
- Surgery and Braces
Opting for surgery, root canal and braces can leave the mouth stressed and lead to little bumps on roof of mouth.
- Tongue Ring
The constant irritation and pressure due to wearing a tongue ring can lead to bumps on roof of mouth. If proper hygiene is not maintained after the piercing, the spreading infection can only make the condition even worse. This can feel very painful and uncomfortable.
- Inflamed Salivary Glands and Adenocarcinoma
If the glands present on the upper palate swell up due to some reasons, it can show up as bumps on roof of mouth. One reason for the swelling is adenocarcinoma in which these glands are affected by cancer. This condition is more common among the smokers.
Should you be Worried About the Bump on Roof of Mouth?
Most often, the bumps on roof of mouth come and go of their own accord. Some are painful while others are benign. However, if the bumps refuse to go away even after a sufficiently long period, you have enough reasons to be worried, mainly because they could be indicators of some major underlying health problems such as cancer. You should immediately fix an appointment with the doctor if the bumps stay for a long period and are accompanied by
- Growing size
- Have lasted for over two weeks.
A proper diagnosis and immediate treatment are a must in order to avoid any future complications.
Different Treatment Methods for Bump on Roof of Mouth
- Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation
Surgery is recommended, especially if the bumps have been caused due to adenocarcinoma oral cancer. This will remove all the malignant cells from the mouth, thereby stopping the further proliferation of the cancerous cells. The extent of the surgery depends on how far the cancer cells have spread. It is carried out by the use of anesthesia. Chemotherapy is also often used to the same effect. It kills the cancerous cells inside your mouth, thereby preventing it from spreading to other areas and organs of the body.
Sometimes, the bumps on roof of mouth can be quite harmless and disappear without being treated. However, they tend to be recurrent and keep coming and going again and again. This is often the case with mucoceles. If this happens for a very long time, it becomes necessary to go for an excision. Together with the excision, the patients can also go for a marsupialization, which is a treatment option that supports the development of a new set of salivary glands. This will help to drain the mucus and saliva from the roof of the mouth.
- Antibiotics and Antivirals
If the condition has been caused due to an infection, the doctors often give a prescription for antibiotics and antivirals. This helps in getting rid of all pathogens that have taken root in the mouth, leading to the formation of bumps. The type of antibiotics is determined taking into consideration the type of bumps occurring on roof of mouth. If they come together with strep throat, the doctors may put you on a full course of medicines. Even conditions such as AIDS and other viral STDs require antivirals to keep the symptoms under control. It would also be helpful to take vitamin supplements together with the antivirals or antibiotics as this helps in strengthening the immune system.
- Quit Smoking
People who smoke and consume alcohol in excess amounts usually develop yellowish or white coating over the tongue and around the mouth. This not only affects the appearance, but also increases the risk of bacterial infection on the inside of the mouth and throat and gives rise to bad odor.
The only way to get permanently rid of these bumps is to quit smoking, alcohol and chewing tobacco. It is important to drink ample water so as to stay hydrated at all time. This will help avoid the odor, dryness of mouth and irritation in the inner lining of the mouth.
- Other Treatments
Apart from these basic and common treatments for bumps on roof of mouth, there are also a number of other treatment options which have been mentioned below.
- Laser treatment
- Topical creams
- Rinsing the mouth with lukewarm salt water around four times each day
- Administration of supplements rich in vitamin B complex
- Controlling the intake of spicy foods
- Making up for any vitamin deficiencies by using supplements
Home Remedies to Treat Bump on Roof of Mouth
The bumps occurring on roof of mouth can also be treated effectively through natural home remedies. In fact, home remedies can be extremely convenient when you are looking for quick treatment options. Given below are some of the remedies you can opt for.
- Black Tea
You can simply take a bag of black tea and let it rest over the bumps for some time. This can be very soothing and also help control the bumps.
- Goldenseal Root
Prepare a tea from goldenseal root and use this to rinse the mouth thoroughly for atleast twice or thrice every day. Since the goldenseal root has antiseptic properties, this can be highly effective in controlling the appearance of sores.
- Aloe Vera Extract
Take some aloe vera juice and use it to gargle the mouth. This can be highly effective in controlling and preventing the lumps on roof of mouth.
- Hot Pepper Sauce
Prepare a fine paste by mixing together Tabasco sauce (approximately six drops) and one teaspoon of boiled water. Use this to wash the inside of the mouth and then rinse it off. Repeat this process for upto four times each day. It can be very beneficial in reducing the sensation of burning caused by the bumps.
Try including a healthy amount of yogurt in your daily diet. This can be helpful to you in more than one way. It will also help keep the canker sores at bay.
Take raw Manuka honey and apply it on roof of mouth by with a soft cotton dab. Repeat the application four times in a day and continue daily till the sores have completely disappeared.
- Baking Soda and Witch Hazel
Prepare a paste by mixing together baking soda, witch hazel, and water and apply it over the sores. This will facilitate the treatment of the sores while also reducing the pain. This treatment can be highly effective in speeding up the process of healing and also reduce the pain and discomfort.
Bumps on the Roof of Mouth vs. Pimples on the Roof of Mouth
More than often, pimples that appear on roof of mouth can easily be mistaken for bumps. Although they are not very different from each other in terms of appearance, unlike bumps, pimples can occur anywhere around the body. Since the skin on roof of mouth is very thin, you can easily end up with a pimple due to some injuries. During injuries, the thin layer breaks open, allowing the microorganisms to enter and multiply. Even small cuts and injuries can lead to pimples on roof of mouth, especially if the body has a very weak immune system. However, in case of bumps, it is not necessary for the foreign microorganisms to enter the body. They can also result due to some underlying causes within the body itself.
Most often, if you have pimples or zits on your face, it is only natural that they show up inside the mouth as well. Most of the times, these pimples start off as very tiny eruptions and then gradually grow in size till they give off the appearance of a bump. While some pimples are hard, others are soft, movable and filled with pus. If enough pressure is applied, the pimple may even break open, letting out the fluid.
Bump on Roof of Mouth vs. Cysts on Roof of Mouth
While bumps on roof of mouth show up as hard protrusion, the cysts have a sac-like appearance and are filled with body substances. These cysts are also known as mucous cysts and mucocele. They cause no pain and may break open or heal up on their own. These cysts are completely harmless unless they grow to a size when you start feeling them as clear foreign objects inside the mouth.
It is common for these cysts to occur on the tongue, palate, inside of cheeks, the inner side of lip, and tongue. The cysts may also appear on the gums and the floor of the mouth in which case they are known as epulis and ranula respectively. Cysts can easily be diagnosed simply through a visual examination.
Bump on Roof of Mouth Behind Front Teeth
In a large number of cases, the bump on the roof of mouth occurring behind the front teeth is an indication that you might have incisive papilla. These types of bump occur very commonly. In some cases, these bumps may also occur due to a surgery, root canal or due to wearing braces. In this case, they result in bad oral hygiene leading to yeast infection. However, if they grow in size to an uncomfortable degree and start irritating, you should immediately visit a doctor. You can either fix an appointment with a dentist or an oral pathologist.
Small Bumps on Roof of Mouth that Comes and Goes
Sometimes, bumps on roof of mouth can also be caused by allergic reactions. If this is the case, they can come and go repeatedly. The allergies could be caused due to medications, food, and vaccines. However, if the reaction has been caused due to lichen planus, it can lead to excessive swelling and affect breathing, swallowing and even talking. The small bumps that come and go are also a common occurrence among smokers.
Bump on the Roof of Mouth After Eating
If you notice any bumps on roof of mouth after eating, it could be due to abrasions, allergic reactions or inflammation from the food that you have just eaten. Or in other cases, it could have been already there, and you only noticed after consuming the food. Wait for a few days or up to a week and try some home remedies. If the bumps still do not go away after a week, get them examined by a doctor.
Bumps on roof of mouth are usually harmless. They can come and go from time to time and are generally painful. However, it can be alarming if they cause incessant pain, irritation, and show in large numbers. Therefore, regardless of the type of bump that shows up, it is always advisable to consult a doctor, especially since these bumps can be an indication of some serious underlying illnesses.
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