roof of mouth sore

Roof Of Mouth Sore | Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments

Finding a solution for your roof-of-mouth sore will be easier if you understand the possible causes. These types of sores can also be described as a canker sore on the roof of mouth and many heal by themselves, but others may need treatment by an oral hygienist.

This article covers a few possible home treatments to help ease pain and aid healing.

Why Is The Roof Of My Mouth Sore?

A roof-of-mouth sore can be caused by the following:

Oral Trauma

Oral trauma can be caused by eating too hot food, which burns the sensitive skin of your hard palate. This can cause blisters or burnt skin.

Eating hard foods such as tortilla chips, hard sweets, solid fruits, and vegetables can hurt the palate. A scratch or wound on the hard palate can lead to swelling and inflammation.


Stress and hormonal changes can trigger a canker sore on the roof of the mouth.

Mouth Ulcers

Cold Sores

Mouth ulcers can appear as spots or blisters and cause swelling on the roof of the mouth. Many ulcers develop on the cheeks, gums, or behind the teeth, but it is not uncommon for them to occur on the roof of the mouth.

Cold sores can occur on the lips or on the hard palate. Most cold sores last about a week and disappear after treatment. A common virus called herpes simplex virus can cause cold sores.

Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolytes are minerals in bodily fluids such as blood and urine. Maintaining adequate electrolyte levels is important for proper bodily function.

If the electrolyte level becomes too low or too high, several symptoms can occur, including a roof of the mouth that is sore and swollen.


Anyone who drinks heavily and has a hangover the next day may notice swelling and discomfort on the roof of their mouth.

This is because alcohol stimulates your body to release more urine, leaving you dehydrated.


Dehydration causes a dry mouth. An excessively dry mouth can lead to swelling and tenderness on the roof of the mouth. You may notice a burning sensation, difficulty eating or swallowing irritation, and a lack of saliva.

This can cause the roof of the mouth to become sore and scratch when eating. Common symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, dark urine, dizziness, and increased heart rate.

When To See A Doctor

If the cause of the swelling on the mouth’s roof is easy to identify, such as through hot coffee, you may not need to see a doctor.

You will only need to give the wound time to heal. However, some people may need medical treatment for the condition. In rare cases, it can be a symptom of a more serious health problem such as oral cancer.

self examinations for roof of mouth sore
See your doctor if symptoms do not subside in 1-2 weeks, especially if you drink alcohol and smoke.

Other common symptoms of mouth/oral cancer:

  • the roof of mouth sore or ulcer that does not heal after more than 1-2 weeks.
  • lumps on the inside of the mouth that can not be explained and do not heal.
  • lumps in the lymph glands of the neck that can not be explained and do not go away.

Other related symptoms: 

  • dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • difficulty speaking or vocal changes
  • unintentional weight loss
  • bleeding in the mouth
  • numbing of the mouth
  • an unexplained loosening of teeth
  • lack of healing after a dental extraction
  • jaw pain or loss of mobility
  • red sore on the roof of your mouth or red/white spots inside your cheeks.

If you have several other symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis can help you get treatment quicker.

Your doctor or dentist can examine your mouth. For most people, a simple visual examination is sufficient. If your doctor is unsure of your symptoms, he or she may scrape a cell from the roof of your mouth or perform a biopsy.

Looking at the cells under the microscope can give your doctor an indication of what is causing the problem.

Pictures Of Mouth/Oral Cancer

Pictures of Mouth Cancer
Pictures of Mouth Cancer
Pictures of Mouth Cancer
Pictures of Mouth Cancer

Roof Of Mouth Sore And Swollen

The swelling is accompanied by abdominal tenderness, which may be a sign of hepatitis.

See your doctor if the swelling worsens or does not subside after a week. You may need medical attention if swelling or pain causes problems that are difficult to treat with over-the-counter treatment.

You may experience other symptoms, so be sure to discuss these with your doctor to help them find a diagnosis.

Sore Roof Of Mouth Treatment

The majority of complaints that cause pain in the mouth are resolved with simple treatment. Over-the-counter medications that you can use can help relieve persistent pain, such as mouthwashes and topical products.

With these strategies, consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 1-2 weeks.

Your doctor may prescribe medication for a particular pathogen if your symptoms are due to a bacterial or fungal infection.

Steroids or certain anti-inflammatory drugs treat allergens and other dermatological diseases. These drugs target inflammation and can help relieve symptoms.


Keep your doctor informed of any new symptoms.

Protect your mouth from pathogens with proper hygiene and try to avoid triggers.

Try not to put your hands near the mouth and spread germs. Avoid this by washing your hands as often as possible.

  • Choose a healthy diet.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
  • Avoid eating or drinking hot or spicy foods.

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