Mouth ulcers are not uncommon, but developing a sore on the roof of your mouth can still have you concerned. Nevertheless, the location of this oral sore has many possible sources, so you shouldn't immediately assume the worst. In fact, if you have a sore on the roof of your mouth tissue, you may have one of these four conditions:
Bumps on the roof of your mouth are sometimes just a burn, particularly after a hot meal. This phenomenon is known as "pizza palate" because fresh slices of pizza are usually the cause of irritation in this part of the mouth. However, pizza isn't the only food that can burn your mouth; any hot food can have this effect. Hot drinks, like 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 may recommend using a product like Colgate® Peroxyl® Mouth Sore Rinse to ease the sensation in your sores 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 can always develop on the inside of your cheeks, but don't be surprised to feel them on the roof of your mouth as well. Canker sores are round, sensitive masses whose origins depend on the case. Researchers think these sores may be caused by problems with the immune system, and are therefore triggered through factors like stress, certain foods and hormonal changes.
Generally, people will get one to three canker sores per instance, but some may develop upwards of 10 or more sores at one time. These sores usually hurt for a little over a week, then disappear completely after two weeks. While you wait for your mouth to heal, you may benefit from eating bland foods to avoid irritating your sores. Of course, your dentist be also prescribe a pain-relieving gel for you to apply to your sores during the recovery process. If your sores haven't healed after these 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 – may 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. While they're healing, 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 of the sores that form on the roof of your mouth 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.
If your dentist suspects a sore is cancerous, he or she will send you to an oral surgeon for an oral evaluation and perform a biopsy of the tissue. If cancer is found, treatment can start just as quickly. This treatment often involves surgically removing the cancerous sore, and afterward, radiation or chemotherapy to be sure it doesn't affect other cells.
If you develop a sore in roof of mouth tissue, there's no need to assume the cause is out of your control. These sores can have many drivers, ranging from harmless to the more invasive. Many of them go away on their own, but a sore on the roof of your mouth that doesn't heal within two weeks is the perfect reason to see your dentist for an evaluation – and a regular checkup.