Bump on Roof of Mouth: Causes, Pictures, Hard, Small lumps & Treatment

A bump on roof of mouth or palate can either be cancerous or non-cancerous. Palatal tori are the most common bony growth on the roof of mouth occurring in close to 30 percent of the population. Lumps on mouth can be hard and small depending on what the underlying cause is.

This article provides you with a list of possible cause of these bumps, images of how this bumps appear and some of the treatment option on how to treat them.

Lump on roof of mouth according to NHS

According to NHS, a lump on the roof of the mouth can be a possible sign of mouth cancer, also called oral cancer. Oral cancer they say is a condition where a tumor develops in the inner lining of the mouth (mucous membrane), this is a thig mucous layer lining the inside of the mouth, the inner cheeks, around the tongue and along the throat.

Apart from the palate of the mouth, a lump or tumor can also develop on the glands that produce saliva, on the tonsils, at the back of the mouth and on part of throat [NHS]. When cancer is the underlying cause of the bump on roof of the mouth, you will notice the following symptoms.

  • Ulcers and sores that do not heal within several weeks
  • Lumps or bumps on roof of mouth that do not go away
  • Persistence numbness on your palate
  • White or red patches on mouth lining

Oral cancer or any form of cancer is generally categorized by the type of cell cancer starts in. the most common form of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma that accounts for around 9 out of ten cases of cancer. This form of cancer occurs in many different parts of the body including inside mouth and on skin.

According to NHS, other less common form of mouth cancer will include:

  • Adenocarcinomas, this is a form of cancer that develops inside the salivary gland
  • Sarcomas, this are cancerous growth from abnormalities in the bone, cartilage and other body tissues
  • Oral malignant melanomas, in this form of cancer, the cancerous growth starts in the melanocytes (the cell that produces skin pigment melanin). This bumps will often appear as very dark, mottled swelling that will often bleed.
  • Lymphoma, these will often grow on lymph glands but can also develop inside the mouth.

Bump or lump on roof of mouth causes

Bumps or lump on the roof of the mouth can painful and irritating. Some people may even find it hard to talk or eat with this kind of bumps on the palate. Some bumps may be small whereas other are large, some may be painful whereas other are painless, and all this will depend on what the underlying cause of the bumps is.

Here are some of the possible because you might have that bump on the roof of your mouth.

1. Lump on roof of mouth cancer?

Mouth or oral cancer is rare but a possible cause of bump on the palate of the mouth. When the bump is caused by oral cancer, you are most likely to observe the following symptoms;

  • Rough bumps with eroded areas around lips, gums and inside the mouth
  • You are also likely to observe the development of white or red speckled patches inside mouth
  • Soreness on lips and inside mouth
  • Difficulties in chewing and swallowing

Oral cancer is a serious condition. As such immediate medical attention is required. If diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may prescribe either surgically removing the cancerous growth on the roof of mouth, radiation therapy where high-energy rays are used to destroy the cancerous cell or chemotherapy which uses a strong chemical drug to destroy the cancerous cells.

The choice of the treatment option to use will depend on your age, the type and stage of cancer you are in.

2. Sinus infection

Sinus infection or rhinosinusitis is a condition that results in the inflammation of the sinuses resulting in symptom such as the following:

  • Thick nasal mucus
  • Plugged nose and pain in the face

Sinus infection can result from allergies, air pollution or structural problems in the nose. Maxillary sinus growths are the bumps that grow on the roof of mouth due to a sinus infection. This bony growth will appear as small bumps on the roof of the mouth.

3. Lump on roof of mouth after eating

It is also possible for you to develop a bump on your roof of mouth after eating hot or spicy foods. Eating hard crunchy foods and hot beverage might burn your roof of the mouth causing this bumps. This kind of bumps are normal and will often clear without medical treatment.

Other causes include:

Apart from the above causes, other possible causes of bumps and lumps on the roof of mouth will include the following:

  • Mucocele
  • Burns
  • Canker sore
  • Cold sore
  • Palatal tori

Bumps on roof of mouth pictures

A bump on roof of mouth will have different characteristic and appearance depending on what the underlying cause of the lump is. Somme bumps on palate may be hard others small, some will be red, other might be white or yellow, some bumps can be small whereas others will be large and painful.

Through this article, we have provided some pictures to help you understand how different bumps on roof appear. The images are only for illustration and cannot be used to substitute a professional health care provider.

Sore Large Lump on roof of mouth

Large lump and sore on the roof of mouth should call for an immediate medical checkup. When the bumps are for some reason recurring over time, such that they have been occurring in an on-off pattern, then that becomes a clear sign of possible oral cancer or herpes infection.

Oral herpes is a viral infection of the lips, mouth, and gums due to an infection of herpes simplex virus. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, oral herpes is known to cause small, painful blisters commonly called cold sores or fever blisters.

The symptoms of oral herpes could mild or severe. Most of the symptoms will become visible after a week of exposure to the herpes simplex virus, thy will include the following:

  • Itchy skin on lips and around mouth
  • A feeling of burning sensation around your lips and on roof of mouth
  • Tingling and numbness on the palate of mouth and around lips
  • Painful small and large blisters inside mouth

Antiviral medication may be used to try and fight the virus causing oral herpes. To relive your mouth of the itching, pain, and irritation caused by the large lump on the roof of the mouth, a topical ointment may be used. Oral pills and antiviral creams can be accessed both as prescription medication and over the counter from local drug stores.

Lump on roof of mouth hurts

Lump on the roof of the mouth is most likely to hurt when popped, scratched or burned by eating or drinking hot foods. A bump on roof of the mouth that hurts is most likely to be caused by the following conditions.

4. Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome according to Wikipedia, is a burning sensation inside the mouth with no underlying dental or medical cause. There is no underlying cause for this sensation. Most people with this condition are also more likely to have dry mouth sensation. With burning mouth syndrome, the lumps appearing on the roof of the mouth may hurt, itch, irritate and cause a lot of discomforts.

With BMS, you are also likely to experience the following symptoms:

  • A burning or scalded sensation on tongue, lips, gums throat and the roof of the mouth.
  • Dry mouth
  • Change in taste
  • Complete loss of taste when left unchecked.

5. Fever blisters

Commonly known as cold sores, these are small fluid-filled blisters that commonly develop on lips and around the mouth. Fever blisters are caused by herpes simple’s virus. They are harmless and could occur on the roof of the mouth. Unless they become painful and irritating, no treatment is required for them as they can clear on they own within a week or two.

Fever blisters or cold sores require no treatment. However, to ease the symptoms associated with cold sore, antiviral creams may be used. This drugs can be accessed over the counter without prescription from any local drug store.

The earlier you apply this creams, the more effective the treatment can be. Apply the antiviral creams as soon as you notice the first signs of cold sores on the roof of mouth or lips. If the tingling, itching and the burning sensation persists for more than a week, have a dentist look at it for more examination and diagnosis of the condition.

6. Canker sores

Just like cold sores (fever blisters), canker sores are painful sores that appear inside the mouth. This sores can be very uncomfortable the good fact is, they are harmless and most will clear up by themselves within a week.

Canker sores are in most cases round or oval, they are common and can simply be managed at home with simple home remedies. Apart from the roof of the mouth, this sores will appear on inner cheeks, lips and on the tongue. Seek medical attention, when:

  • The sore last for more than two weeks
  • The sore inside mouth keeps increasing in number
  • They become more painful or red (this is a clear sign of  either a bacterial or yeast infection)

Small, little lump on roof of mouth

In most cases, small, little lump on the roof of the mouth are harmless, some can, however, be contagious making you partner vulnerable to developing them. These bumps are very common in people who smoke or fail to observe proper oral hygiene. Other common causes of these bumps is an allergic reaction to either food or drug or simply a viral infection in mouth (oral simplex virus)

This bumps can be itchy, painful and cause a lot of discomforts. With small, little lump on the roof of the mouth, some people may find it hard to swallow food, talk or breathe properly. It is important to have a dentist look at this kind of lumps as soon as you notice them on the roof of your mouth.

Hard bumps on roof of mouth

Hard bumps on the roof of the mouth in both adults and children are more likely to be any of the following:

7. Epstein pearls

These are hard whitish-yellow cyst that forms on the gums and roof of the mouth. They are common in babies have some resemblance to milia (small, hard, pale keratinous nodule formed on the skin). This bumps primary occur in newborn, occurring in close to 80% of all newborn.

8. Oral cancer

Oral cancer or mouth cancer is a cancerous tissue growth located in the oral cavity. Cancerous tissue growth means that these cells have the ability to invade adjacent cells on the roof of the mouth or the oral cavity. This is a serious condition that calls for immediate medical attention.

9. Incisive papilla

An incisive cyst is an abnormal membranous sac or blister like bump filled with fluids or semisolid materials. These bumps are also known as nasopalatine duct cysts. They occur behind the teeth in most cases.

10. Torus palatinus

This is a hard bony protrusion on the palate (roof of the mouth). They often occur on the midline of the hard palate. Most of this bumps are in most case 2cm in diameter. Their size can, however, change over life.

11. Mucocele

Oral mucocele or mucus retention cysts, these bumps may refer to the swelling of the connective tissue consisting of a collection of fluid called mucin that occurs due to a ruptured salivary gland duct due to local damage.

The size of these bumps will vary, the bumps are usually transparent with a blue tinge.

Treatment for lump on roof of mouth

Treating lump and bump on roof of mouth depends on what the actual cause of the bump is. The treatment will also depend on how severe the symptoms are. Here are some of the possible options you might choose to treat the bumps on your palate

1. Drain the bump on palate

Draining a fluid filled bump on roof of the mouth can be a bad idea, but when done correctly, draining the bump may help in speeding up the healing of such bumps. Once drained, you will need to keep your mouth clean and free from food plaque that leads to bacterial infection.

2. Antimicrobial mouthwash

To keep your mouth clean and sanitized, you can use an antimicrobial mouthwash.

3. Oral antibiotics and antiviral drugs

In cases of oral or viral infection accompanying the bumps on the roof of the mouth, topical or oral antibiotics and antiviral medication can be used respectively.

4. Stop using tobacco products  

Smoking and chewing tobacco products are a common cause of different oral problems. Keeping away from these products might help speed up the healing process.

5. Maintaining good oral hygiene

To keep germs, fungus, and other pathogens from accumulating inside the mouth and infecting the bumps on the roof of the mouth, you need to always keep your mouth clean. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a mild toothpaste to clean your mouth.

6. Topical medication

Topical ointment like anti-itching and anti-inflammatory cream will come in handy in relieving the itching and inflammation on the roof of your mouth.

7. Vitamin B supplements

Vitamin deficiency is known to cause some oral conditions that might, in turn, cause bumps to develop on the roof of the mouth. To correct this deficiency, you can use vitamin B supplements and other recommended nutritional supplements.

8. Corticosteroid lozenges

According to NHS, corticosteroid lozenges can be very effective in treating oral bumps. This medicine can reduce pain and speed up the healing process of most of the bumps or lumps occurring on the roof of mouth.

To prevent irritating the bumps or lump on the roof of the mouth, you will need to do the following:

  • Apply a mild protective paste recommend by a dentist, this will help relieve your mouth of the itching, irritation and burning sensation accompanying the bumps on the roof of your mouth.
  • Make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles especially for children, this will help prevent popping or rupturing the bumps.
  • For those who smoke or use tobacco products, you will have to do away with this products till your mouth is healed
  • Instead of drinking acidic beverages directly from the cup, try using a straw
  • Please keep off from hard, spicy, hot and acidic foods for the time being
  • Use a mild toothpaste to avoid irritating the bumps


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