Having a bump on the roof of one’s mouth simply refers to any type of painful swelling that occurs. It isn’t a condition that one needs to be alarmed over however. In many cases it could be a natural formation that is part of the hard palate.
Torus Palatinus – The name Torus Palatinus refers to a large and bulbous bump on the roof of the mouth. It gets its name from the Latin word ‘torus’, meaning bull. These formations are made of bone which makes them strong and large in nature. The over- growths themselves are covered by a non-resilient tissue of the palate which is pink and very firm. Due to their solid nature, these particular bumps cannot be moved using one’s finger. In some cases these bumps on the roof of one’s mouth may start out small, but as we age they can grow larger. Since these over-growths are a variation of the oral anatomy of the mouth, their presence is not something to be alarmed about. However, if the palatal ‘tori’ are very large in nature they may become uncomfortable or create an issue with oral appliances such as partial dentures. If the placement of an appliance cannot be worked around the bump, it is then advisable to have it surgically removed.
Growths in Maxillary Sinus – the maxilla is the bone of the upper jaw. Sometimes a growth in the maxilla can swell resulting in it protruding into the roof of the mouth to form a visible bump. This is a condition that is associated with maxillary sinus cancer. It is a symptom that will occur with others, such as developing sores in the nose, headaches, and a decreased sense of smell. Another type of cancer that can form bumps such as this is adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma affects the minor salivary glands that one finds on the palate. It is a condition that could develop from smoking, or reverse smoking. Reverse smoking is when the lit end of a cigarette is inside of the mouth. This is most common in pipe smokers and those who use cannabis.
Tooth Abscess – When a tooth located in the upper jaw develops tooth decay, it may reach the root canal over time. This will then lead to a tooth abscess, which are periapical by nature. What this means is that it will surround the upper tooth’s root tips. This can then lead to swelling which occurs on the sloping part of the roof of the mouth. It generally manifests as a bump that is painful. In cases where an individual has poor oral hygiene habits, we may see a large buildup of plaque and calculus. This could inflame the gums around the tooth of the upper jaw, causing swelling. A swelling on the roof of the mouth can also appear if one has an infection of the palatal mucosa or the minor salivary glands.
Other Causes – Another cause of bumps forming on the roof of the mouth is heavy alcohol consumption. Mucoceles are caused by the blockage of the salivary glands. These will appear on the lips, roof of the mouth, or under the tongue. The mucoceles themselves are painless, however it is important not to scratch or injure them as they will bleed.