Oral care

Bump on roof of mouth-Top 10 reasons for bumps

Our mouth and oral cavity is a very delicate part of our body. We tend to worry a lot if we develop any abnormality in the mouth or we suffer from pain in the oral cavity.

So, we rush to the dentists to find out the reasons for the problems in the oral cavity like the lumps and bump on the roof of mouth and other problems in the mouth.

Yet, there are some other people who completely neglect their mouth and they don’t visit their dentist at all. They only worry if they face any problem with their other organs like heart, liver, kidneys, etc.

Causes of a bump on roof of mouth:

bump on roof of mouth


Bumps on roof of mouth can be caused by many different reasons ranging from minor abnormalities in the mouth to lethal and deadly cancers of the mouth. Let us explore all the possible causes of a bump on roof of mouth.


Many people across the world smoke. There are many detrimental effects on smoking on our body like the development of throat cancer and lung cancer. These cancers are deadly. But, smoking can also cause some benign conditions like the development of bump on roof of mouth.

In smokers, these bumps appear as whitish color bumps on roof of mouth. They have a depression in the middle of the whitish bump. The color of this depression is reddish. These lumps and bumps in smokers are called smoker’s palate or Nicotine stomatitis.

Palatine papilla:

Palatine papilla is also known as incisive papilla. It is also one of the most common benign causes of a bump on roof of mouth. The incisive papilla is a small oval shaped or pear shaped projection of the mucosal tissue.

The incisive papilla is present in the middle part of the roof of mouth or the hard palate just behind the central incisors or front teeth. The incisive papilla is normally present in everyone.

But, sometimes it can get irritated or inflamed due to various reasons and appears like a prominent bump on roof of mouth.

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Torus palatinus:

Torus palatinus is a bony outgrowth seen on the midline of the hard palate. It is generally inherited from parents as an autosomal dominant trait. It runs in families. Torus palatines can create the appearance of a bump on roof of mouth.

It is generally seen amongst the people belonging to Asian, Native American, and Inuit descent. But, people belonging to other races can also develop Torus palatines. It is generally harmless.

But, sometimes due to the friction of the bony outgrowth with food in the mouth, there can be a development of ulcers on this bump on roof of mouth, Torus palatines. In such cases, it might need to be reduced in size surgically.

Poor oral hygiene:

Regular brushing twice a day and flossing at night every day are absolutely essential to maintain oral hygiene. But, many people don’t follow good oral hygiene and they ingest many sweet foods like chocolates, and other foods damaging teeth like aerated or carbonated drinks.

In such people, bacteria grow very easily in the mouth and lead to the formation of dental caries or tooth decay or rotten teeth. You need to get these corrected in time with the help of your dentist.

If you neglect dental caries, the infection spreads deep into the roots of the teeth or root canal and leads to the formation of a dental abscess or tooth abscess.

These dental abscesses have the appearance of a bump on roof of mouth. They appear just near to the edge of the tooth which is infected.


A mucocele is another reason for the development of bump on roof of mouth. A mucocele is caused due to the blockage of the minor salivary glands that produce saliva and release into the mouth. Normally salivary glands produce saliva and then drain the saliva into the mouth through the salivary ducts.

Some people have the habit of repeatedly sucking on the lower lip or biting on the lower lip. If you do such actions on the lower lip, it leads to obstruction of salivary ducts. This results in the formation of mucocele.

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A mucocele is a cyst-like structure which is very soft to touch and absolutely painless. It is not harmful at all. It appears round in shape and pearly or bluish in color.

In the majority of cases, Mucoceles resolve by themselves. But, sometimes you might need to visit your dentist for the treatment of mucocele.

Your dentists squeeze the saliva out of mucocele and place a stitch around it. You might need to visit your dentists again after a week for the removal of the cyst.

Epstein pearls:

These Epstein pearls are also known as palatal cysts of the newborn. They are one of the most common reasons for having a bump on roof of mouth in the kids.

They are cyst like vesicles which are white or yellowish in color. They are less than 3 mm in size. They are caused due to the trapping of epithelial tissue in the hard palate. They are also filled with fluid which is one of the main characteristics of any type of cyst.

They are present in the midline of the hard palate as small lumps or bumps. These Epstein pearls resolve spontaneously over a period of few weeks after birth. If they don’t resolve due to any reason, then you might need to visit your Pediatrician for their removal.

Bohn’s nodules:

You, people, have seen about the Epstein pearls. Bohn’s nodules are also similar to Epstein’s pearls in the fact that they also appear as a bump on roof of mouth in infants. They are also less than 3 mm in size.

Bohn’s nodules are white in color and they are present at the junction of the hard palate and the soft palate. These nodules are filled with a substance called keratin. These nodules also resolve by themselves within few months after birth.

Invasive Oral squamous cell carcinoma:

In simple terms, it is oral cancer which also causes a bump on roof of mouth. Many people are worried that they might have developed cancer of the mouth immediately after seeing a bump on roof of mouth. Sometimes, these bumps can surely be oral SCC or cancer.

But, sometimes they might be simple benign lumps and not cancer. You need to know how to suspect oral cancer so that you can visit your physician promptly.

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You can suspect oral cancer is you smoke or use tobacco products regularly if your bump on roof of mouth doesn’t heal after a long time. You can also suspect oral cancer if you have multiple bumps on lips, tongue, palate, etc.

Oral cancer also has many other symptoms like severe pain that doesn’t subside, abnormal sensations or paresthesias in the mouth, foul smell from the mouth or halitosis, swelling of the cheeks, obstruction of the nose or nasal congestion, discharge of clear fluid or blood from the nose (epistaxis).

Oral cancer can also cause some changes in your eyes like protruding of your eyes or proptosis, paralysis of the eye muscles or ophthalmoplegia, etc. You might also lose a lot of weight due to oral cancer.

Maxillary sinus carcinoma:

Sometimes there can be a cancerous outgrowth from the maxillary sinus. This also appears like a bump on roof of mouth. You might also suffer from other symptoms like severe uncontrollable headache, anosmia or be losing the smell sensation, etc if you have maxillary sinus carcinoma.

Mandibular torus:

This is the bony outgrowth seen from the mandibular bone. It can appear as a bump on roof of mouth or also bump on the side of the tongue. They are less common in comparison to the Torus palatinus.

When to consult a doctor:

Mouth is a very sensitive organ. So, you definitely need to consult your physician or dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • If your bump is enlarging in size day by day.
  • If your bump is extremely painful.
  • If blood starts oozing out from the bump.
  • If your bump on roof of mouth doesn’t subside spontaneously after a month.

You have seen all the causes of a bump on roof of mouth. You have also seen the reasons for you to consult your physician regarding lump on roof of mouth. Have you ever suffered from any bumps or lumps on roof of mouth? Do share your experience with us.

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