Roof of Mouth Hurts: 8 Possible Causes

An allergic infection is the most frequent cause of soreness or stinging of the roof of the mouth. The soreness or pain can occur for various reasons. If the roof of mouth hurts, it might not be easy to notice as it is not easily visible. Even though a person cannot see it, they can feel it.

If a person is a smoker or has dental trauma or ingests one particular nutrient, the problem can occur. When a person experiences such pain, it gets difficult for them to talk, eat and do all daily chores.

1. Roof Of Mouth Hurts

The roof of the mouth is a particularly delicate region. Both bony and non-bony portions are involved. When the roof of the mouth hurts, it can lead to a variety of disorders.1 The roof of your mouth might suffer from a variety of issues in addition to discomfort and swelling. A doctor must treat those signs and symptoms.

Roof of mouth
By oswaldoruiz/Pixabay Copyright 2021

2. Diseases Assumed and preventions

The roof of the mouth is also linked to oral health. Because our mouth is our body’s direct conduit, the roof of our mouth is inevitably damaged. The roof of the mouth hurts when an infection occurs due to some specific germs. This infection then leads to problems with your teeth and gums. The various types of diseases that can be detected or assumed and the ways to prevent them are given below:-

2.1.  Cold Sores

Cold Sores – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

When a person has a herpes simplex virus outbreak in his body, cold sores develop. Fluid-filled blisters appear on the lips and the roof of the mouth because of the virus. Recent surveys by the American Academy of Otolaryngology showed that the hard palate also has a high chance of getting affected.

Cold sores are a very prevalent ailment. In fact, for most people who are infected with HSV, the disease can be spread through regular close contact with parents, siblings, or friends during childhood.


  1. Before the blisters emerge, there is a tingling sensation.
  2. Blisters that appear in clusters or patches.
  3. Blisters that ooze or are open but do not burst.
  4. Blisters that burst and crust over before they heal.


Cold sores, unlike canker sores, are extremely contagious. Although the epidemic normally goes away without treatment. It’s crucial to avoid close contact with anyone during that period. Cold sores will normally begin to heal on their own. However, if the roof of the mouth hurts, they can be treated with:

  • Skin lotions
  • Ointments
  • medications

2.2. Canker Sores (Mouth sores)

What is CANKER SORES? Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Canker sores or mouth sores are painful sores that may appear on the roof of the mouth. A canker sore is a mouth sore that is spherical and open. They come in various colors, including white, yellow, and pale pink, and are extremely sensitive.

Canker sores are most commonly found on the cheeks and gums, although they can also form on the roof of your mouth. These are caused by various things, including biting the inside of the cheek when chewing and clawing the roof of your mouth. It can give some irritation, and the roof of the mouth hurts.


  1. Inside your mouth, painful mouth sores or sores on the tongue, soft palate, or inside your cheeks.
  2. Before the sores emerge, there is a tingling or burning sensation and sometimes even a sore throat.
  3. Sores are usually in your mouth with a red edge or round border, white or grey in hue.
  4. Fever.
  5.  Sluggishness on the physical level.
  6. Lymph nodes that are swollen.


1. Acidic, hot, or spicy foods should be avoided.

2. Gum chewing should be avoided.

3. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after each meal and flossing once a day is recommended. This will prevent meals from triggering a sore in your mouth.

4. Sodium lauryl sulfate-containing oral hygiene products must be avoided.

In case the roof of your mouth hurts even after a while, and you still see the following

  • Large sores that are out of the ordinary
  • The sores are becoming worse
  • Sores that last for three-week or longer
  • Prolonged pain despite avoiding trigger foods and using over-the-counter pain relievers and drinking enough water

then one must see a doctor. Besides, Canker sores can be detected when one is experiencing a high fever; in this situation, the person must visit a doctor.

2.3. Burns

What to do in case of accidental burn in mouth after eating very hot food? - Dr. Aniruddha KB

Hot food or drink can irritate numerous delicate tissues inside your mouth or the roof of your mouth. Many fragile tissues in the mouth are susceptible to hot foods and beverages, which burn the roof.

As they’re so sensitive and thin, these tissues in your mouth are more vulnerable to burns than some other soft tissues in your body. This skin must be delicate in order to enjoy the sensations of eating and drinking. As a result, it is vulnerable to injury.


Each individual’s experience is unique. If the roof of your mouth hurts, the following are some examples or symptoms of burning mouth syndrome:

  1. Tongue numbness or tingling, which comes and goes
  2. Having difficulty swallowing
  3. Mouth is parched
  4. Throat irritation
  5. Changes in flavor, such as a metallic aftertaste in your mouth


Minor burns normally heal on their own if the person is careful not to irritate the sensitive skin. So, letting your mouth heal on its own is probably a good choice. If the roof of your mouth still hurts, the doctor or dentist may recommend one or more of the following therapies, depending on the reason for your burning mouth syndrome2

  • Capsaicin, a pain reliever made from hot peppers
  • Mouthwashes
  • Replacing reduced saliva with certain medicinal products
  • Supplements with vitamins

2.4.  Mucoceles

Oral Mucocele -  The Most Common Mucosal lesion - Mucous Cyst: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Mucoceles are oral mucous cysts that grow on the roof of the mouth. If the roof of the mouth hurts, it can be caused by an inflamed or irritated salivary gland.

One of the ducts that transport saliva from the salivary gland through tiny tubes within your mouth becomes clogged. This usually occurs when a person sucks on their bottom cheek or lip repeatedly. Mucus pours out and creates inflammation, and the ducts get disrupted. When a duct is clogged, something similar happens.


Mucoceles may have the following characteristics

  1. Painless and movable
  2. Dome-shaped, spherical, and soft
  3. The surface that is pearly or semi-clear, or that is bluish in hue


Mucoceles are usually unproblematic and heal on their own. However, if the roof of the mouth hurts, it may take a few weeks to heal. Home remedies and anti-inflammatory solutions can be helpful too. If the medical condition becomes serious, a dentist’s advice should be sought. Following are the steps advised by the dentists:

  • The place needs to be cleaned up and disinfected.
  • Stitch the mucocele along with a knot.
  • Presses saliva out gently.
  • After about a week, the stitches are removed.

2.5. Hyperdontia

Hyperdontia, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Hyperdontia is a condition in which a person’s teeth are overgrown. Additional teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth.

These teeth have the ability to sprout in any spot, especially in the areas where the jaw and teeth are joined to the roof of the mouth. Hyperdontia is easy to detect if the extra tooth has already grown in. A typical dental X-ray will reveal them even if they haven’t fully grown in.


These teeth are more common in adults. Males are affected twice as much as females. The symptoms are based on the location and shape of the teeth.

  1. Supplemental-The tooth has a comparable shape to the type of tooth it grows next to.
  2. Tuberculate-The tooth is shaped like a tube or barrel.
  3. Odontoma compound-The tooth is made up of many small, tooth-like growths that are close together.


Hyperdontia is curable, and excess teeth can usually be removed without causing problems. However, if your roof of mouth hurts, dentists recommend removing the extra teeth and also if the person has:

  • Difficulty with chewing or eating
  • Cleaning the teeth, which may cause gum disease
  • Overcrowding, or crooked teeth
  • Delay in the eruption of permanent teeth

2.6. Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Mouth cancer is another name for Oral cancer. Uncontrollable cell growth that invades and destroys the tissue around it is basically known as Oral cancer. It can affect any area of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth.

Oral cancer, often known as mouth cancer or Oral cavity cancer, may develop inside the roof of the mouth. It also includes cancer of the mouth floor, hard palate, soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). It can be fatal if not detected and treated early. It generally occurs in people consuming tobacco products or who have a history of cancer in their family.


  1. Swelling/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or degraded areas on the lips, gums, or roof of the mouth
  2. A bulge or growth inside your mouth
  3. Velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches appear in the mouth
  4. It causes pain in the roof of the mouth
  5. Any numbness, lack of feeling, or pain/tenderness in the face, mouth, or neck that isn’t described
  6. Weight loss and hormonal changes
  7. Difficulty in eating and swallowing


  • Avoid smoking and using tobacco products, and consume alcohol in moderation.
  • A well-balanced diet
  • Exposures to the sun should be limited.
  • Frequent visits to the dentist

2.7. Epstein Pearls

Epstein pearls in infants

Epstein pearls are fairly prevalent among infants, with 60 to 85 percent of them having them.

Epstein pearls may appear strange, but they are completely harmless. Mostly occur in the roof of the mouth of babies who have a larger birth weight, are born to older mothers, or are born over their due dates.


They don’t create any symptoms except their look. They look like whitish-yellow nodules on the roof of the mouth.


They don’t require any treatment. They generally go away on their own. If the roof of the mouth hurts and the baby shows any discomfort, then you should consult for medical advice or see a doctor.

2.8. Trauma And Injury

Everything You Need to Know About DENTAL TRAUMA

The physical injury to the soft tissue, gums, or palate in the roof of the mouth is known as Dental trauma.

Dental trauma can refer to several different sorts of injuries. The common causes of such injuries are accidents.


The injury causes bumps, and the roof of the mouth hurts. You can visit a doctor for appropriate advice. The bumps may lead to a medical condition like:

  1. Cuts
  2. Accidents from dental work or dentures


If the roof of your mouth hurts, you can take the following steps:

  • Mouth rinse with salt water
  • Applying tea bags on bleeding areas
  • Hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the afflicted area for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce bleeding and ease the pain

If the bleeding doesn’t stop, the doctor may give medical advice.

3. Precautions To Be Taken

Most of these diseases on the roof of the mouth are due to poor oral hygiene standards like smoking, bad eating habits, and not brushing properly.
You can improve your oral hygiene by
1) brushing properly
2) visiting the dentist on a proper schedule
3) avoiding products containing antioxidants

4. Conclusion

If the roof of your mouth is hurting, there could be various reasons for this discomfort.

Hot foods or beverages, such as pizza or coffee, can sometimes cause burns on the roof of your mouth. These are small, shallow ulcers that can develop on the soft tissues of the mouth, including the roof. They are usually painful but not contagious.  Also known as fever blisters, these are caused by the herpes simplex virus and typically appear on or around the lips, but they can also affect the roof of the mouth.

Infections in the sinuses can cause referred pain to the roof of the mouth, especially if the maxillary sinuses (located near the cheekbones) are affected. An allergic reaction to certain foods, medications, or environmental factors may cause swelling and discomfort in the mouth, including the roof.

If the pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms like difficulty swallowing, fever, or bleeding, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional or dentist can properly diagnose the issue and recommend appropriate treatment.

In the meantime, you can try to ease the discomfort by avoiding hot or spicy foods, rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater, and using over-the-counter pain relief like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (following the recommended dosage). However, these are just general suggestions, and it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


Q: Can stress cause the roof of my mouth to hurt?

A: Yes, stress can sometimes manifest physically and cause symptoms like mouth pain or discomfort. Stress can lead to behaviors like teeth grinding or clenching, which can put pressure on the roof of the mouth and cause pain. Additionally, stress weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, which could also contribute to mouth pain.

2. Should I be concerned about a sore that won’t heal in the roof of my mouth?

A. Yes, any sore or lesion in the mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks should be evaluated by a dentist or a healthcare professional. Persistent sores could be a sign of an underlying issue, including infection or oral cancer, which requires proper diagnosis and treatment.

3. How can I alleviate the pain in the roof of my mouth?

A. Pain relief for the roof of the mouth depends on the cause. Over-the-counter pain relievers, topical gels, and mouth rinses may help reduce discomfort from minor irritations. However, it’s essential to identify and treat the underlying cause for long-term relief.

Read more

Proofreaded by:

Dr. Foram Bhuta

Dentist (B.D.S)

  1. Patel, Priti, et al. “The children of mothers with eating disorders.” Clinical child and family psychology review 5 (2002): 1-19. ↩︎
  2. Grushka, Miriam, Joel B. Epstein, and Meir Gorsky. “Burning mouth syndrome.” American family physician 65.4 (2002): 615-621. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Spruha Das
  1. overview of various conditions causing roof of mouth discomfort and the detailed explanations on symptoms and preventions provide valuable insights. This informative guide not only addresses common issues like cold sores and canker sores but also highlights more serious concerns like oral cancer, emphasizing the importance of seeking professional medical advice for persistent or severe pain

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