What Causes Bumps on the Roof of Your Mouth?

Mouth can be complicated especially when it comes to the hard palate. One of the questions that dentists face regularly is the lumps and bumps appearing in the oral cavity. While many normal structures in the mouth appear in the form of bumps, they could also be a sign of disease. In order to be sure what the bumps are, it is important to undergo a checkup by an oral practitioner.

Causes of Bump on Roof of Mouth

1. Incisive Papilla

When the bumps occur behind front teeth, it could be an indication of incisive papilla. These bumps are common. However, these bumps can get enlarged and you may need to see a medical practitioner to determine if your incisive papilla has enlarged or just suffered a temporary irritation. You can consult a dentist but it may also be helpful to consult an oral pathologist.

2. Smoking

Smoking, particularly when using a pipe or cigar, could result in a condition referred to as smoker's palate or nicotine stomatitis, which is marked by some whitish bumps appearing in the palate. The bumps could be marked by a reddish depression occurring at the center.

3. Dental Issues

This condition is marked by caries occurring in upper jaw at times passing into root canal, causing the formation of abscess. Buildup of plaque and calculus as a result of bad oral hygiene may cause gum swelling around upper jaw. These gum swelling may occur as bumps on roof of mouth.

4. Mucocele

Bump on roof of mouth could also indicate mucocele, which is marked by a lump that looks like a cyst but is usually harmless. The lump which develops in the mouth or palate can be a result of the blockage of salivary glands. In the normal circumstances, saliva usually drains from glands to mouth. However, when an obstruction of the ducts occur, it gets stuck inside, causing a pool that leads to a soft and painless bump which is bluish, pearly or pliable in color. One of the major causes of the obstruction of salivary gland is frequent sucking or biting the inside of mouth.

5. Torus Palatinus

The torus palatinus is marked by a bony protrusion occurring on the roof (palate) of the mouth. The growth should not be a source of concern as it is quite normal and cannot cause any harm. In most cases, this growth usually has a diameter of 2cm but the size can differ from one person to the other. It can also change over time. At times, this type of growth increases in size as the person grows older.

6. Epstein Pearls

The Epstein Pearls are bumps occurring in the mouth of newborns or very young kids. The bumps affect nearly 80 percent of kids and are usually normal, harmless and painless. Epstein Pearls are also known as gingival or palatal cysts and consist of yellowish or white bumps on the roof of mouth or gums. There is no need to treat these bumps as they are harmless and will fade within a few weeks. In case they still appear after several weeks, you may need to consult a pediatrician.

7. Oral Cancer

In case the bumps occur in the palate without going away for a long period, it could be an indication of oral cancer. The condition can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early enough. The disease can also affect the tonsils, lips, cheeks, sinuses, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, glands, throat as well as tongue. Oral cancer can be marked by some dark and irregular lumps occurring in different parts of your mouth.

8. Maxillary Sinus Growths

The maxilla bone occurs in the region of the upper jaw. Maxillary sinus cancer is marked by growth occurring in this bone leading to a swelling that protrudes through upper palate. This can also be seen as a bump on roof of mouth. Patients suffering from the condition may alsoexperience a lost sense of smell, nasal sores and headaches.

9. Exostosis/Mandibular Torus

Exostosis, also known as mandibular torus, occurs in the roof of mouth as well as the lower jaw's tongue side. The condition is not only common but represents an extra protruding. This can easily be injured by hard or sharp food and such kind of injuries can cause painful sores or ulcers that can be difficult to heal as the area can get bruised and bumped when eating.

When Should I Worry?

There are moments when the bump on roof of mouth will appear for no good reason and will disappear on its own. However, there are times when the bump won't just go away. In such a case, you will need to consider the underlying causes. You should contact your medical practitioner if the bumps:

  • Get bigger
  • Bleed
  • Are painful
  • Last for more than 2 weeks

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, it is advisable to contact a medical professional who will examine the area and determine whether treatment is necessary.

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