Soft, Bony, Painful, Hard Lump on roof of mouth: Diagnosis, Symptoms

Everyone is almost guaranteed that they will have to deal with a lump on the roof of the mouth at some point. Such a lump can occur due to a number of reasons. Most of them are harmless and will go away even without treatment. Some are infectious while others are associated with malignancy. It is therefore very important to know when to worry and when not to when dealing with a lump on the roof of the mouth.

If necessary, the best treatment option will depend on the cause and how large the lump is. Medical treatment is the best alternative for severe and infected cases. Mild lumps on the roof of the mouth can be treated at home, mostly with home remedies. This article discusses Soft, Bony, Painful, Hard Lump on roof of mouth: Diagnosis, Symptoms, treatments and home remedies.

Possible causes of lump on roof of mouth

Palatine papilla

Palatine papilla gets name from the fact that resulting bumps form mostly on the hard palate. They also can occur on the middle part of the mouth roof, just behind the front upper teeth. The bumps are mostly oval in shape. They are common, normal and harmless but can form lumps due to irritation.

Dental complications

The upper jaw is most affected by a lump due to dental complications. The lump will appear on the palate and is often accompanied by caries. If the root canal is affected, abscess is likely to develop and form a painful lump on the roof of the mouth.


A had white lump on the roof of the mouth could be due to nicotine stomatitis. It is a condition that develops on the palate of smokers. The lump will have a reddish dimple-like feature at the middle.


A hard lump on the roof of the mouth that resembles a cyst indicates mucocele. It develops due to blockage of ducts that deliver saliva into the mouth from the salivary glands. People with the habit of biting the inside of their mouths are more likely to get mucocele lumps. It is characterized by bluish lumps.

Torus platinum

A hard bony lump on the roof of the mouth is referred to as torus platinum. It occurs more often in individuals who are genetically predisposed. The lump is harmless but can get irritated and result in ulceration.

Poor oral hygiene

Bacteria feed on sugar. If sugar is in abundant in the mouth, bacteria will proliferate and cause all sorts of infections. This can lead to formation of lumps on the roof of the mouth. Toothpastes are slightly alkaline, so as to neutralize the acid produced by bacteria and the one that leads to teeth decay.

Epstein pearls

If you notice small lumps on the palate of your kid, they probably are Epstein pearls. About 8 in 10 newborns will have them. They are characterized by yellowish or white appearance and are harmless.

Mandibular torus

A hard bony lump on the roof of the mouth or lower jaw is most likely a mandibular torus. Due to its hardness, the lump may constantly get bruised and develop ulceration.

Maxillary sinus growths

The maxilla bone is located above the upper jaw. Sometimes, the bone can develop abnormal growths and lead to formation of a hard bony lump on the roof of the mouth.

Canker sores

A soft painful lump on the roof of the mouth that forms a sore on the soft tissues is known as a canker sore. Canker sores can also occur on the lips, under tongue and on the throat. They are painful and characterized by a yellow, grey or white appearance.


More than two lumps that are itchy, inflamed and painful may be due to allergic reactions. This can happen after contact or ingestion of foods such as soy, peanuts, eggs or diary products.


A hard lump on the roof of the mouth that persists for long could be a sign of oral cancer. Cancerous lumps are accompanied by other symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes and occurrence of lumps elsewhere in the body. Patients will also feel a lump in throat after eating and when swallowing.

Symptoms of lump on roof of mouth

In most cases, a lump on the roof of the mouth will start as a small lump or a pimple. Depending on the cause, it can get bigger, form a sore or harden like a bone. Others will get irritated to form ulcerations. Ulcers are often infected, which leads to formation of pus, pain and swelling.

Some lumps that form in the mouth could be itchy. This is commonly seen in canker sores and lumps due to allergic reactions.

Treatment for lump on roof of mouth

Some lumps on the roof of the mouth will go away even without treatment. As long as they are not causing pain or discomfort and are not infected, you can let them heal naturally. Below are the treatment options available:


Excision involves removal of part of an organ or tissue. It is mostly considered for hard bony lumps on the roof of the mouth. Excision prevents constant ulceration which encourages infections.


It is not advisable to drain a lump in your mouth at home. The same can be done by a doctor in a clinic. Drained bumps take less time to heal. Draining best works for cystic lumps. For example, a hard lump on top of foot due to ganglion cysts can be drained and injected with steroid medications.


In most cases, medications to treat a lump on the roof of the mouth are prescribed when the lump is due to viral or bacterial infections. The medications are meant to treat the infection causing the lump but not treat the lump itself.

Mouth washes

Medicated mouthwashes help flush out bacteria from your mouth. They are available over the counter. You can all the same have your doctor prescribe the best for your case.


Lozenges containing steroid-based medications are commonly used to reduce inflammation and swelling of oral bumps.

Other treatments

Formation of lumps on the roof of the mouth may be encouraged by deficiency in minerals and vitamins. Most notably, supplements for vitamin B complex are occasionally prescribed. Topical medications containing peroxide and glycerin can be used to treat sore lump due to canker sores. Laser treatment can be considered to treat recursive lumps in the mouth or ones not responding to treatment.

Home remedies to use on lump on roof of mouth

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera can be applied directly on a sore lump or be gargled in form of aloe Vera juice. It is particularly helpful when dealing with potential infections.

Black tea

Black tea has quite a number of properties which can help with mouth lumps. To use it, compress a wet tea bag on the lump.


Milk or yogurt has been found to be helpful in treatment of oral lumps. They are particularly helpful when dealing with canker sores.


If you have a swollen lump or one in the risk of getting infected, apply some raw honey on it. It will ease pain and also keep from infections.

Baking soda

Baking soda will neutralize any acid in the mouth produced by bacteria. To use it, make a paste with water and some witch hazel extract.

How to prevent lump on roof of mouth

Making use of mouth washes and rinses can help a lot. It will not only keep your teeth from decaying but will also prevent microbial growth.

Smoking encourages occurrence of mouth lumps in a number of ways. Tobacco smoke for one causes lumps on mouth roof due to nicotine stomatitis. It also encourages development of oral cancer cells. Smokers have increased chances of developing throat infections. You can consider one or several tricks that can help you keep from smoking. If serious, rehab can help. Much the same can be said about heavy alcohol consumption.

Drinking enough water daily may also keep from lumps on the roof of the mouth. So will a healthy diet, especially one containing enough minerals and vitamins. Probiotics and supplements are other alternatives.

Is a hard lump on roof of mouth sign of oral cancer?

A hard lump on your palate could be a sign of oral cancer but not always. Cancer tumors are characterized by painless lumps that keep growing bigger with time.

Due to damage from spicy or hard food products, such a lump may form a sore and become painful. Without treatment, cancer cells quickly spread to the lymphatic system. When this happens, a small lump behind the ear or in the throat may form. This is caused by swelling of lymph nodes.

Spread of the cancer cells to other body organs will cause signs such as lumps elsewhere in the body, voice hoarseness, headaches, confusion, pain in the belly, chronic cough and such. If you notice a lump in your mouth that keeps increasing in size, have it checked by a doctor.

It can also do some good, to learn more on topics such as how to check breasts for lumps, meaning of a lump on scrotum skin and so on. This is partly because cases of cancers are on the rise.