Bump on roof of mouth may occur due to many different causes. Listed below are some of the common causes along with the associated symptoms and treatment options.
Causes of bump on roof of mouth
Bump on roof of mouth may be caused due to:
- Torus palatinus: It is a harmless and normal bony overgrowth that protrudes from the roof of the mouth, in the middle section of the hard palate. These solid and unrelenting bumps/bump on roof of mouth are enclosed in non-resilient, firm, and pinkish palate tissue. They are typically smaller than 2 cm diametrically, but may differ from one person to other. It may also change in size with time, often growing larger as one ages.
- Torus may pose increased threat to damage of the soft palate skin. It may cause difficulties in drinking, eating, and swallowing or in removing or placing dentures. The bump on roof of mouth generally does not cause any pain, unless it gets inflamed, bumped, scratched, or irritated.
- Torus palatinus may occur due to a variety of factors. The condition typically runs in the family and hence is often a genetic/inherited condition. Native Americans and Asians as well as women are more prone to developing torus palatinus than others. Continuous palate irritation and frequent teeth grinding are other known causes.
- Torus associated bump on roof of mouth generally does not require any treatment. Minor pain can be alleviated with painkillers. If the bony protrusion becomes too large, causes eating problems, or other normal function abnormalities, then it can be surgically removed by a dentist.
- Epstein pearls: Also known as gingival or palatal cysts, Epstein pearls are small, normal, harmless, and painless protein-filled cysts that occur on the roof of the mouth of newborns and infants. The yellowish or white nodules may also form on the gums and often be mistaken for premature teeth. Nearly 4 out of every 5 babies are affected by this common condition.
- Epstein pearls associated bump on roof of mouth develop in the uterus due to entrapment of the mucous membrane during the process of palate development.
- Epstein pearls generally clear out on their own in some weeks without any medical treatment. Persistent instances however need to be checked by a pediatrician.
- Oral cancer: A bump on roof of mouth which refuses to heal may be a symptom of oral cancer. Also called ‘head and neck cancer,’ oral cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the mouth; it can affect the cheeks, lips, tonsils, palate, sinuses, mouth floor, tongue, throat, and/or glands. Patients may exhibit uneven dark lumps in different parts of the oral cavity. The lesions typically first affect the lips and tongue before spreading to other areas like the roof of mouth and the neck lymph nodes. It is important to diagnose and treat the cancer in the early stages, else it can prove to be fatal.
- Oral cancer signs and symptoms include appearance of chronic or new spots, bumps, lumps, sores, lesions, or swellings in the face, mouth, or neck; oral pain, numbness, or bleeding; rapid weight loss; whitish or reddish blotches in the mouth; sore throat and discomfort in the throat akin to something stuck in throat; ear pain and ache; problems in moving the jaw or tongue, or in chewing and swallowing; and changes in voice, hoarseness.
- Alcohol abuse, smoking, prolonged and frequent exposure to UV light, a family history of oral cancer and/or other cancers, and HPV infection are some of the common factors which can increase the risk to developing oral cancer. Men are more prone to developing oral cancer associated bump on roof of mouth than women. People who drink and smoke excessively or those with a family history of excessive drinking and smoking are more vulnerable to developing oral cancer than those with just one of the risk factors.
- Maxillary sinus growths: The maxilla is a bone present in the upper jaw. Cancer of the maxillary sinus can cause a growth in the maxilla which may cause it to swell, protrude through the upper palate, and become visible as a bump on roof of mouth. Patients may exhibited diminished sense of smell, headaches, and nasal sores.
- Adenocarcinoma: It is a type of cancer which affects the minor salivary glands occurring on the palate and causes the formation of a bump on roof of mouth. It is often seen in pipe smokers and reverse smokers, wherein the lit end of the cigarette is placed inside the mouth.
- Oral cancer comes with a high fatality rate. Hence, all cases of a bump on roof of mouth have to be immediately investigated by a doctor. Oral cancer is treated via surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Doctors may prescribe painkillers to ease associated pain.
- Tooth abscess and other tooth problems: Development of caries in a tooth or teeth occurring in the upper jaw may sometimes pass into the root canal. This can then lead to formation of tooth abscess which affects the root tips of upper jaw teeth. Subsequent swelling and inflammation of the oral roof slopes then typically becomes visible as a painful bump on roof of mouth.
- Any kind of infection of the minor salivary glands or the mucosa of the palate can result in swelling and development of painful bump on roof of mouth.
- Bad oral hygiene may trigger excessive buildup of calculus and plaque, leading to swelling of the gums present around the upper jaw teeth. Such gum swelling may be then visible as painful bump on roof of mouth.
- Bacterial infections of the oral cavity are treated with antibiotics. Tooth abscess may sometimes require a root canal treatment.
- Mucocele: A mucocele is a cyst-like growth which develops in the oral cavity due to blockages or obstructions in the salivary glands. The salivary glands occur in different parts of the mouth. When the minor/upper palatal salivary glands experience blockages, then the resultant mucocele growth appears as a bump on roof of mouth.
- Obstructions in the salivary ducts causes the saliva to get trapped in the affected area, leading to buildup of saliva and eventual formation of a slightly flexible, tiny, soft, bluish or pinkish mucocele bump. Salivary gland blockages can occur due to recurrent biting or long-term sucking action inside the mouth. Mucocele cysts are generally painless; however, enlarged cysts may cause pain in the entire mouth.
Mucocele bump on roof of mouth often disappear on their own without treatment. Doctors may prescribe topical medicines and steroid injections for alleviating the symptoms. Severe cases may require surgery.