We use our mouths constantly, so getting a sore on the roof of your mouth can be the worst! Mouth ulcers are not uncommon and can have various causes, from the benign to more serious issues. If the roof of your mouth is sore, you may have one of these conditions:
Bumps on the roof of your mouth are sometimes just a burn. This phenomenon is known as “pizza palate,” because fresh, hot slices of pizza are a common cause of irritation to this part of the mouth. However, pizza isn’t the only food that can burn the roof of your mouth; any hot food and hot drinks, such as coffee or tea, can lead to similar burns.
A burned palate usually heals by itself within three to seven days. To ease your discomfort in the meantime, stick to soft foods and cool drinks. If the pain is severe, your dentist might recommend using a mouth sore rinse to ease your discomfort and promote quicker healing. If the area is still sore after seven days, don’t hesitate to see your dentist.
2. Canker Sores
Canker sores often develop on the inside of your cheeks, but don’t be surprised to feel them on the roof of your mouth as well. Researchers think these sores may be caused by problems with the immune system and can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, certain foods and more.
Generally, people will get one to three canker sores per instance, but some may develop 10 or more sores at one time. These sores usually hurt for a little over a week, disappearing completely after two weeks. While you wait for your mouth to heal, you may benefit from eating bland foods to avoid irritating your sores. Your dentist can also prescribe a pain-relieving gel for you to apply to your mouth sores during the recovery. If your sores haven’t healed after two weeks, they should be checked out by your dentist.
3. Cold Sores
Sores on the roof of your mouth — particularly those that don’t dissipate right away — might ultimately be cold sores. A common growth caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are usually found on the lips, but according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, they can also be found on the hard palate. These sores present themselves as painful, fluid-filled blisters; the blisters later rupture and crust over as less-painful lesions.
Cold sores usually become crustier within four days of appearing, and will heal completely after eight to 10 days. Avoid touching or picking at them, just as you would for a scab. If the sores don’t go away by themselves, as you know, your dentist is happy to help.
4. Oral Cancer
Although some mouth sores are harmless, not all of them are best left alone. Sores on the roof of your mouth can sometimes be a symptom of oral cancer. And if you have a sore on the roof of your mouth that hasn’t healed after two weeks, you need to see your dentist as soon as you can for an evaluation. Oral cancer is most treatable when it’s caught early, so it’s important to bring suspicious sores to your dentist’s attention right away.
Treating a Sore Spot
The most effective treatment for mouth sores is time. However, while your mouth is healing, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain and prevent further irritation. Mayo Clinic recommends dabbing a little milk of magnesia on canker sores. If you have lesions in multiple areas of your mouth, try a warm salt water mouth rinse or a prescription rinse to deliver a cleansing, comforting solution throughout the entire mouth.
Other Ways to Help
It often helps to avoid alcohol, tobacco products and spicy foods while your sore mouth is healing. If you get canker sores often, try to identify your triggers for mouth sores, such as acidic foods or stress, so you can better prevent them. A 2015 study indicated that taking B-12 could reduce canker sore outbreaks, but remember to talk to your doctor before starting new supplements.
If you have sores inside your mouth, don’t assume the worst. Just take it easy and avoid irritating them. Most sores go away on their own, but if a sore on the roof of your mouth doesn’t heal within two weeks, go ahead and see your dentist for an evaluation — and a regular checkup.