Pain on Roof of Mouth – Causes of Painful Sores and Bumps on Roof of Mouth

HomeMouthPain on Roof of Mouth – Causes of Painful Sores and Bumps...

Pain on roof of mouth can be as a result of different conditions. Common causes of swelling and pain may include sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and chronic dry mouth. Sore roof of mouth behind front teeth can also be as a result of excessive alcohol drinking. With sores and bumps on palate, you will need to have a dentist check it out as soon as possible, this is because it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Depending on what the underlying cause of the pain is, you would expect to experience the following symptoms:

  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Painful bumps
  • Sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching and a feeling of burning sensation
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What causes pain on roof of mouth?

Why is the roof of my mouth sore? Painful sores and bumps on plate can be as a result. Depending on what the underlying cause of the pain is, most people will experience other symptoms such as painful sores, itching, irritation inside mouth, and a feeling of burning sensation.

It is not uncommon for mouth ulcers to be the underlying cause of the pain in roof of mouth. The location of the sores may have many possible causes. When faced with such condition, it is important to immediately have a dentist look at it as soon as possible.

Some of the causes will include the following:

1. Canker sore on roof of mouth

Canker sores often occur on inner cheeks. It is however not uncommon to have these sores develop anywhere inside your mouth.  Also known as aphthous ulcers, canker sores are small, shallow lesion that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums.

Canker sores on palate may go away on their own in a week or two, if they fail to do that, you need to check with your dentist as soon as possible. You also need to do that if:

  • The sores keep getting large
  • The sores becomes painful
  • Or the sores seem not to heal
  • Form irregular edges
  • The sores recur
  • The sores extend into the lips
  • The pain cause difficulties in eating or drinking

According to mayo clinic staff, the actual cause of canker sores remains unclear, researchers, however, suspect that a combination of factors contributes to outbreaks even in the same person. Possible triggers for canker sores will include the following:

  • Minor injuries inside the mouth, this can be due to dental work, rough brushing or dental accidents
  • In females, a common cause is said to be due to hormonal shift during menstruation
  • Harsh toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Lack of essential minerals such as vitamin B-12, zinc, iron, and folate
  • Allergic reaction especially to certain bacteria in =side mouth
  • Eating spicy and acidic foods
  • Weak immune system especially for people with HIV/AIDS
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases and
  • Celiac disease

Most people will get one to three cancer sores per instance, some people may, however, develop upwards of 10 or more sores or bumps at a time. Simple canker sores may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week, on the other hand, complex sores are less often in people who previously had them.

When the cause of the pain on palate is canker sore, you can relieve and soothe the pain at home by applying fresh aloe Vera gel, a paste of baking soda or rinse the inside of your mouth with dilute hydrogen peroxide.

2. Cold Sores

Unlike canker sores, cold sores are blisters in or near the mouth. These sores are caused by herpes simplex virus. Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are common viral infection, they are tiny, and fluid-filled blisters on and around the lips.

Mayo clinic notes that these blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore.  Just like canker sores, these sores usually heal in a week or two without leaving a scar.

cold sores causing pain on palate
cold sores causing pain on palate

Cold sores on roof of mouth are very contagious and can spread from person to person through close contact. As mentioned, these sores are caused by a virus herpes simplex. This virus closely relates to the one causing genital herpes. Both the virus can affect your mouth and genitals, the virus can be spread through oral sex.

Apart from the pain in mouth, cold sores can be shown with the following symptoms:

  • Tingling and itching
  • Fluid-filled blisters on and around mouth
  • Oozing and crusting
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Panful eroded gums

With cold sore, you need to see your doctor if you have a weak immune system, the sore fail to heal, the symptoms persist or you experience irritation in your eyes.

3. Cancer

Canker sores and cold sore are harmless and can be left to heal on their own without treatment. Although this might be true for some of the sores, not all sores should be left unattended. In rare cases, painful sores on mouth can be a symptom of oral cancer.

If you notice a sore on roof of mouth that fail to heal, you need to have it checked out by a dentist or a professional health care provider as soon as possible. Mouth cancer is most treatable when caught early.

In a dental examination, if your dentist suspects the sore to be cancerous, he or she will recommend you to an oral surgeon or evaluation and perform a biopsy of the tissue. Treatment should start as soon as the cancer is found.

Oral cancer treatment often involves surgically removing the cancerous sore. After that, your doctor may recommend a radiation or a chemotherapy to be sure that the cancer does not affect other cells.

4. Sinus infection

Sinus infection or sinusitis is swelling of the air-filled spaces behind the forehead, cheek, and eyes that may continue for long or keep coming back. Sinusitis is usually due to allergies. Chronic sinus infection, on the other hand, is often due to the following:

  • Nasal polyps, nasal tumors deviated nasal septum
  • Dental infection such as tooth abscess

Pain on roof of mouth caused by sinus infection will in most case be accompanied symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Facial pain around the eyes or forehead
  • Nasal drainage
  • Headache

In case of sinusitis, treatment aims to cure the infection and make the symptoms go away. To treat this infection, your health provider will most likely prescribe an antibiotic. The medication can be administered either as oral pills or nasal sprays. To control the pain accompanying the symptoms, you might use over the counter painkillers.

Other treatment for sinus infection will include anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, nasal irrigation kits among others.

5. Bruised roof of mouth

Trauma and bruises on roof of mouth are the other common causes of painful bumps and sores on roof of mouth. Bruises might result from injuries or burns from eating hot foods and drinks. Bruises on the roof of mouth can also be as a result of vigorous brushing.

You will agree with me that it can be very easy to damage the skin inside mouth and throat. It only takes a tiny scratch and the pain can be unbearable. The bruises can also develop into blood blister or sore patches, the good news is that they only take a few days to heal. If they fail to do that, you need to have a dentist check on them as soon as possible.

6. Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome could also be the possible cause of pain on roof of mouth. This condition refers to the chronic or ongoing (recurrent) burning in the mouth without any obvious cause.

Burning mouth syndrome not only affects the palate, the discomfort may also affect the tongue, the gums, and the lips, inside cheek or widespread area of the whole mouth. In some people, the symptoms may develop suddenly whereas, in others, the condition may develop gradually. You need to work closely with your dental care team to have the condition under control.

7. Mouth infection

Bacterial, fungal or viral infection in mouth can also be the underlying causes of the sore palate. These mouth infections are often in conjunction with sore mouth or sore tongue.

Fungal infection in mouth are however less common and are seen in people with severe dry mouth, have a weak immune system or suffer chronic injuries to the mouth.

8. Dehydration

Dehydration a condition that occurs as a result of loss of body fluids could also be the underlying cause of pain on roof of mouth. With this condition, more water moves out of the cells and body than one takes in through drinking.

Some of the common causes of dehydration include:

  • Too much exercises
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes
  • Significant injuries to the skin including burns and mouth sores

9. Electrolyte imbalance

Swelling on the roof of mouth can also be a symptom of electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals in the body fluids (blood and urine). For proper body functioning, these minerals have to be in balance.

When the level of electrolytes become too low or too high, it can be shown by symptoms such as swelling, pain or soreness on roof of mouth.

10. Excessive use of alcohol

Lump or pain on roof of mouth can is also common in people who smoke or drink a lot. It is believed that alcohol encouraged your body to release more urine, this is a common cause of dehydration. Dehydration can cause dry mouth which in turn may lead to swelling or tenderness on the roof of mouth.

Hard painful bump on roof of mouth

Hard painful bumps or lumps on roof of mouth that fail to clear on their own are in most cases likely to be colds sores. This is however always not the cases as the hard bumps might also be as a result of burns in mouth after eating hot or spicy foods.

hard bumps on roof of mouth
hard bumps causing pain on palate

When the lumps are as a result of burns, this phenomenon is known as pizza palate. This is because fresh slices of pizza are usually the causes of irritation on the roof of mouth. Any hot food can also have this effect. Hot drinks like tea and coffee can also lead to this kind of burns.

No treatment is required for lumps on palate caused by food or drink burns. Burns often heal on their own within a week. You can relieve the discomfort by eating soft foods and cool drinks. If the pain persists, you need to see a dentist who will prescribe something to ease the pain and reduce the irritation inside mouth.

Hard painful bumps on roof of mouth that take long to heal might also be symptoms of other conditions such as canker sores, cold sores or oral cancer. If the lumps become too painful or take long to heal then you need to have a dentist check them out as soon as possible.

Other related symptoms might include the following:

  1. Swelling on roof of mouth
  2. Red spots on palate that hurt
  3. Ridges at the back of mouth
  4. Roof of mouth hurts when swallowing
  5. Dryness in mouth and
  6. Blisters muscles spasms

Lump on roof of mouth not painful

Though in most cases lumps on roof of mouth are painful, it is not uncommon to have a painless bump on palate. Painless lump on palate could indicate Mucocele which is often marked by lump that looks like a cyst. These lumps are often harmless.

Painless bump often results from blockage of salivary gland. When an obstruction of the salivary duct occur, it gets stuck inside, this causes a pool that leads to a soft and painless bump that is bluish, pearly or pliable in color. A common cause for this phenomenon is frequent sucking or biting the inside of the mouth.

In kids and newborns, painless bumps on palate are often as a result of Epstein Pearls. These bumps affect nearly 80% of kids, they are considered normal, harmless and painless. In most cases, these bumps often fade away within a week or two. If the bumps still appear after several weeks you will need to have a doctor check them out.


The treatment for sore, bumps and pain on roof of mouth will in most cases depend on what the underlying cause or causes of the sore are. For acute infection causing the sores, one can soothe and relieve the pain at home with natural remedies such as by applying aloe Vera or baking soda paste.

For chronic or recurrent infections on the other hands, proper medical diagnosis is required to first establish the actual underlying cause before the appropriate treatment to clear the infection and the accompanying symptoms can be prescribed.

Serious underlying cause such as oral cancer requires urgent medical attention. When done in time, there are high chances of clearing the infection and preventing it from spreading to other people (as is the case with herpes simplex virus).

Commonly used treatment for sores on roof of mouth include:

  1. Antibiotics in cases of bacterial infections
  2. Antihistamine in cases of swelling
  3. Nasal irrigation kits and
  4. Anti-inflammatories

Home remedies for sores on roof of mouth

Apart from the treatment options above, painful sore on roof of mouth can be relieved at home with simple natural home remedies. These remedies may help soothe the inside of mouth but most do not treat the underlying cause of the sores and bumps.

After using the remedies, it is important you have a dentist check the symptoms out to establish the actual underlying cause of pain, this way you will be able to treat the actual cause and prevent the condition from recurring in the future.

Mouth rinse

At home, you can easily soothe and relieve the pain in mouth using a salt water based mouth rinse. To prepare the remedy:

  1. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water
  2. Gently stir to mix the two
  3. Use the resulting mixture to rinse your mouth very two to three hour
  4. Do this repeatedly for a week for optimal results

A salt water mouth rinse has a lot of benefits including soothing your sores, treat a sore throat and also provide an emergency dental hygiene in case you are unable to use normal toothpaste and mouthwash.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is the other great remedy you might use to relieve and get rid of the sores. Aloe Vera is not only good for the skin, it can also be used to treat cold sores and other types of sores occurring in the soft tissues of the mouth.

Aloe vera for painful Sores and Bumps on Roof of Mouth
aloe Vera

To use aloe Vera:

  1. Slice off the outer part of the leave
  2. Scoop the gel and using a clean cotton gel, apply it on the palate
  3. For children, you can mix a teaspoon of aloe Vera gel with an equal amount of honey before applying it on the roof of mouth.
  4. Do this twice daily until the sores, bumps or lumps heal

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Drinking plenty of fluid

When the sores, bumps or pain on roof of mouth is as a result of dry mouth or dehydration, you can relieve and soothe your mouth by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Doing this will help replenish fluids in your body and help bring down the swelling and painful sensation inside your mouth.

Eating nutritious foods, fruits and vegetables may also help return the lost minerals and vitamins t your body. When doing this, you will need to avoid hard and crusty foods that might worsen the pain and swelling,

Baking soda

Rinsing your mouth with baking soda is the other simple remedy you can use at home to get rid of the pain on roof of mouth caused sores. Baking soda can be more effective especially for canker sores on roof of mouth.

Simply dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in warm water. Use the resulting solution to rinse your mouth twice a day for a week. Make sure you avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods that could cause further irritation.

Hydrogen peroxide

The other great way to get rid of mouth sores is by rinsing your mouth with dilute hydrogen peroxide. To prepare an even more effective remedy,

  1. Mix two parts water with two part hydrogen peroxide
  2. Into the mixture add a teaspoon of baking soda
  3. Gently stir until it dissolves
  4. Swish the solution around mouth and spit it out
  5. Do this twice daily


  1. Causes of mouth roof pain:
  2. What causes the roof of your mouth to be swollen:
  3. Swelling on the roof of your mouth, causes, and treatment:
  4. 4 possible causes of pain in roof of mouth:
  5. Home remedies for sore on mouth:

Get in Touch

  1. Thank you. You changed my mind. Feel good about conclusions. Will see my Dentist this Thursday, hopefully, he can help me. It is new situation. Started after receiving new Partial Plate. Was convinced was the culprit, now maybe have hidden low grade infection, that needs tending too. Feel so good about this. No doctors listening to me, at all and having trouble with my spouse being the person that the situation is being explained to. I am the patient, and YES I am a female. Really upsets me, when someone just denies any problem and needs to talk to ‘the Man of the family’. This is just information, no sexual bias. Really makes me calm down. So thanks for the information, makes me feel like something can be done.

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