Bumps On The Roof Of Your Mouth – Causes, Risks, Complications

Excerpt: Finding a bump on the roof of your mouth can be concerning, but bumps can be benign...
Table of Contents

Fast Facts

  • A bump may have no discomfort or negative symptoms, and can resolve on its own!
  • Since the bumps are often benign, they aren’t usually treated but can be removed.
  • There can be more than one cause or underlying condition that will be the reason for the bump.

Finding a bump on the roof of your mouth can be concerning, but bumps can be benign, meaning they are harmless, and can even resolve on their own. However, you should book a dentist appointment, and never assume the bump is harmless.

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11 Possible Causes For The Bump On Your Mouth

There are quite a few potential causes for the bump on the roof of your mouth. Thankfully if you do find a bump on the roof of your mouth it is most likely not serious, but there are a couple of scenarios where that might not be the case:

Canker Sores 

A canker sore is a small bump that appears to be round, painful, and may have a yellow or white center with a red border. Canker sores are thought to be caused by stressing, or causing a minor injury to the mouth. They will generally go away on their own after a couple of weeks.


Some remedies to help with canker sores include:


  • Mix baking soda and water and hold it in your mouth for 15 sec.
  • Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and hold it in your mouth for 15 sec.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) numbing products.

Cold Sores

These are small, fluid-filled bumps that occur repeatedly. The cause is herpes simplex virus type 1, and they are contagious. You will need prescription cream, or antiviral pills to help reduce their frequency.

Minor Injury

One of the main reasons for bumps is injury. The mouth goes through significant wear and tear on a daily basis and it can be quite easy for it to get injured:
 
  • Cuts
  • Minor or severe burns
  • Irritation from dental devices
  • Dental work irritation

Torus Palatinus

This is a harmless condition that can cause bony outgrowths on the roof of your mouth. There is some evidence to suggest that torus palatinus is caused by:
 
  • Age
  • Mouth shape and bite structure
  • Tooth grinding
  • Bone mineral density
 
You will most likely need surgical removal for this to be treated.

Epstein pearls

Epstein pearls are palatal cysts than occur in an infant’s mouth. The cause of Epstein pearls is a build-up of a specific kind of protein, known as keratin.

Mucoceles

These bumps are generally small, painless, round, smooth, and fluid-filled. Mucoceles are caused by obstruction or damage of the ducts or salivary glands. These can resolve on their own, but you may need surgery depending on the scenario. 

Squamous papilloma

Symptoms of squamous papilloma include small, painless, soft bumps supported by a stalk or stem. They tend to resemble a cauliflower in appearance. These bumps are generally not treated, but they can be removed if necessary.

Candidiasis (Oral Thrush)

Oral thrush can cause white, creamy-looking bumps that form on the roof of your mouth. These bumps are painless or will be red and have a sore (or possibly burning) sensation.

Step Throat

Strep throat often manifests in tiny red bumps that form on the roof of the mouth. To treat this condition, you will most likely be given antibiotics such as amoxicillin or Azithromicin, Keflex, or Clindamycin if you are allergic to amoxicillin. Be sure to tell your dentist or medical doctor if you are allergic to amoxicillin. 

Hyperdontia

Is a condition where the person will grow more teeth than normal, these teeth will grow in tiny bumps on the roof of the mouth. If the condition is causing discomfort, or overcrowding, the teeth can be surgically removed.

Oral cancer

Sometimes oral cancer can form bumps on the roof of your mouth, symptoms of oral cancer include:
 
  • A bump, hard lump, or sore that doesn’t heal
  • A white, red, or oddly shaped patch in the mouth
  • Pain, numbness, or bleeding in the mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing
  • Neck or jaw pain or swelling
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When Should I book A dentist Appointment?

You may not need to immediately book an appointment if the bump is painless, or not causing any discomfort, but you should book an appointment if you experience any of the following:

  • Does not heal, are severe, spreads, or becomes painful. 
  • Are more than ½ inch wide.
  • Become in contact with your teeth, and dental devices, or interfere with your ability to eat, swallow, or talk.
  • Goes away and then comes back.

How Is The Bump Diagnosed?

It will be very difficult, if not impossible to diagnose the bump or bumps accurately at home. You should get them diagnosed by a dentist, who will utilize one or more of the following:


  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy (taking a bit of tissue from the bump)
  • Ultrasound, or other imaging tests

How Are These Bumps Treated?

Since there are so many different causes for these bumps, there will be lots of treatments depending on what the bump’s origin is:

  • Prescription oral creams or steroid gels
  • Antivirals, antifungals, or antibiotics
  • Surgery
  • Laser treatments
  • Cryotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

Can You Prevent These Bumps?

You may or may not be able to prevent the bumps, but you can always follow the best practices of dental care which will help:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Practicing good oral hygiene habits 
  • Getting regular dental checkups
  • Avoiding spicy, salty, rough, sharp, or acidic foods
  • Reducing stress
  • Staying hydrated
  • Avoiding tobacco products and limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding contact with or sharing items with people who are sick or have open sores
  • Ensuring dental devices fit well and don’t have sharp edges

Frequently Asked Questions

You should consider making one just to be safe.

Most bumps will be fairly meaningless and may not give any cause for concern.

Since the cause for bumps is very broad, costs for treatment will vary considerably. Consult with a dentist to find out what your cost will be.

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