It is obvious to feel worried about the appearance of a strange bump or lump anywhere on your body, but it could be more terrifying when it's in your mouth. It is, however, important to mention that the lumps or bumps you notice on the roof of your mouth are usually benign. You can treat them easily, unless you have a more serious underlying condition. It is, therefore, a good idea to go see your dentist when you find bump on roof of mouth. This will help evaluate the situation and make it easier to find a treatment option. Keep reading to find out more about some of the most common causes of having a bump or lump on roof of mouth.

What Causes Bump on Roof of Mouth?



One of the most common causes of finding a bump on roof of mouth is smoking. It usually appears as a group of whitish bumps on the roof of your mouth with small reddish depression in the middle. It usually represents smoker's palate, which is a benign condition.



You may sometimes find a mandibular torus on your palate – it may also appear on the lower jaw. It happens due to a common process that involves a protruding bone being injured by hard foods. Such injury may lead to a sore or ulcer, which may take a while to heal because the area is under constant use when you eat.


Tooth Abscess

Sometimes, a tooth in your upper jaw develops tooth decay, which may also affect the root canal. This will cause a tooth abscess and surround your upper tooth's root tips. You may see a painful bump and notice swelling usually on the sloping part of the roof of your mouth. The buildup of calculus and plaque is usually the reason why you developed a tooth abscess. If you notice swelling without any noticeable bumps, this could be due to an infection of the minor salivary glands.


Torus Palatinus

A torus palatinus is a commonly found lump on roof of mouth and is the outcome of grinding your teeth often. It may have a large bump or several smaller bumps, which are usually painless unless you scratch them while eating. It is usually hard to notice if it is growing or not. You don't always need to remove it, but it can be done in you dentist's office under local anesthesia.



If you find a cyst-like growth in your mouth that specifically develops in your oral cavity, it could be a mucocele. It appears due to an obstruction or blockage in the salivary glands, which are present in different parts of your mouth. A mucocele on the roof of your mouth is usually the outcome of obstruction in the upper palatal salivary glands. The obstruction will trap the saliva, which will lead to the formation of tiny, pinkish mucocele bump. The blockage may occur due to long-term sucking action or recurrent biting in the mouth. The cysts usually cause no pain, but enlarged cysts may cause some discomfort.


Epstein Pearls

Epstein pearls, also known as palatal cysts, are small and harmless protein-filled cysts that appear on the roof of the mouth of infants. The cysts cause no pain in most causes. You may also notice yellowish nodules on the gums in this condition. These bumps develop when the baby is in the uterus and clear out without any treatment in a few weeks. You may need to see your pediatrician if the condition persists.



Sometimes, a bump on roof of mouth is due to a cancer called adenocarcinoma, which affects your minor salivary glands. It usually affects reverse smokers and pipe smokers. The treatment options include radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.


Oral Cancer

"I have a bump on roof of my mouth, is it oral cancer?" Many people ask this, and the answer is, "Yes, it could be, especially if it refuses to heal". Oral cancer, also known as head and neck cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells that can affect your lips, cheeks, sinuses, palate, tonsils, tongue, glands, throat, and mouth flood as well. You may also have dark lumps in different parts of your oral cavity. The cancer usually affects the tongue and lips first, and then spreads to the other areas of your mouth. 

Other common symptoms include oral pain, bleeding, and numbness; new bumps or sores; whitish blotches in your mouth; rapid weight loss; ear pain; sore throat; problem in moving your tongue or jaw; pain while swallowing; and change in voice. You should see your doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms and have a family history of any type of cancer.

When to See a Doctor

As mentioned already, a bump on roof of mouth is generally harmless, but it's better safe than sorry. Therefore, it makes sense to see your doctor when you have a bump. You should visit your doctor immediately if a bump in your mouth is getting bigger, bleeds, lasts longer than a couple of weeks, and is painful. Only a dentist can identify the real cause of trouble in this case.


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