Is Swollen Mouth Roof Painful?


A bulge at the top of the mouth can be troubling, particularly if it doesn’t leave rapidly. This swelling in the roof of the mouth is treatable but sometimes causes a lot of pain. In this article, you will get to know what can cause this swelling, it’s conceivable symptoms and how to treat it.

Swollen Mouth Roof

What is a Swollen Mouth Roof?

The roof of the mouth or the palate as it is called consists of a hard portion in the front covering about 80% of the area and a soft portion called the soft palate which is in the posterior portion. This separates the nasal cavity and the mouth and also provides support for the upper teeth. For various reasons, the roof of the mouth can be swollen, with some causes that need no attention to some that can require immediate attention.  Depending on the actual condition that causes the swelling, there could also be a pain, discharge (blood or pus causing a salty taste), fever, dryness, and spasms. The following are some common causes:

  1. Trauma: This can happen in children who play with objects like pencils or in adults when they eat something hard. This is more common in people who eat meat where bones could injure the palate. This often needs no attention unless it is severe.
  2. Mouth ulcers: Ulcers can occur on the hard or the soft palate. The ones on the hard palate are often caused by the herpes virus and the ones on the soft palate are caused by vitamin deficiency, hormonal changes, or stress.  
  3. Dehydration: People with reduced water intake, excessive alcohol intake, and excessive sweating can have dehydration. This leads to reduced urine output and electrolyte imbalance, leading to swelling of the roof of the mouth.
  4. Mucoceles: There are various mucous glands in the palate, and these can become filled with fluid leading to a swollen mouth roof.  There might be a salty taste if it is pus-filled in, otherwise, they subside once the fluid is drained, which also happens on its own.
  5. Oral tumors: Though rare, oral tumors both of the hard and soft palate start with swelling which then gradually increases in size and changes shape and texture as the tumor grows.  These are often complicated and require treatment.
  6. Denture traumas: Those with ill-fitting dentures can have swelling in the roof of the mouth or where the clips touch the teeth.


Your treatment will completely rely upon the reason for the swelling. Some of the treatment methods are:

  1. Use salt on the swollen part because it has bactericidal properties so it will aid in removing the pain caused by the mouth injuries.
  2. Instantly rinse your mouth with cool water if you have consumed hot food.
  3. In case you’re dried out, drinking a few ounces of liquid may rehydrate you.
  4. Pain soothing gels may help you ease the pain.

Much of the time, the swelling or inflammation you’re encountering will leave. As you recoup, make sure to give your skin time to heal. Try not to eat very hot or hard food while your skin is still delicate. If the swelling doesn’t leave in five to seven days, you should see your primary care physician.

Dr. P. Venkata Krishna
Dr. P. Venkata Krishna is a diabetologist, general physician, and occupational health consultant practicing in Apple Diagnostic & Medical Centre, Viswasri Ashwini Polyclinic and Diabetic Centre, Hyderabad. He pursued his M.B.B.S. in 2011 from Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, AFIH in 2014 and FCD in 2015 from IMA College of General Practitioners. He is handling medico-legal and emergency cases and providing accident relief medical services at occupational health centers (OHC). Also, he is an expert in treating hypertension, diabetes, gout, CKD, and COPD.


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