Pain in the Roof of Mouth: Causes and Treatments

Pain in the roof of mouth is common and can be triggered by various reasons, such as canker sore, infections, etc. Read for all the causes and remedies.

The roof of the mouth or the palate can easily become disturbed. The mouth is a sensitive part of the body which frequently comes into contact with foreign substances which can cause a negative reaction in the body. The palate can become sore or it can develop a burning sensation. Sometimes raised sores will appear on the roof of the mouth that can cause discomfort when eating or talking. These side effects are more obvious as you wake up, and eating spicy foods or performing actions like snoring can also aggravate the roof of your mouth if it has become damaged.

Roof of Mouth Hurts: Causes and Treatments

1. Burning the Tissue

Drinking excessively hot beverages can scald the roof of the mouth. Eating excessively hot or spicy foods may also irritate the flesh on the roof of the mouth. Afterward the palate may feel sensitive to the touch or a blister may form on the area that was burned. This can last for several days after the initial burn.


Cooling the palate right away when it becomes agitated can help prevent damage from becoming excessive. Sip cold liquids slowly and swish them toward the area that has been scalded. Until the area has had a chance to heal, avoid allowing food to make contact with the burned area and limit your intake of spicy, sharp or otherwise irritating foods.

2. Irritating Substances

Using substances that are irritating to the flesh can cause the roof of mouth hurts. Foods that are sharp can scratch the tissue, leading to discomfort. Spicy foods or foods that are extremely hot or cold can also cause the roof of the mouth to become damaged, leading to swelling or pain. Tobacco use can also damage the tissue, leading to discomfort on the palate.


Altering the diet to avoid foods or substances that consistently causing discomfort is vital to maintaining oral health. Once the tissue becomes agitated, restrict your diet to bland foods with moderate temperatures to limit the risk of causing further damage until your mouth has a chance to heal.

3. Canker Sore

Canker sores can develop on the roof of the mouth. These can be caused by exposure to bacteria or when the tissue becomes damaged due to a scratch or burn. Canker sores will begin as a red mark on the roof of the mouth, but will slowly fill in with white or yellow pus.


Take care not to open this sore as this can spread the bacteria inside, increasing your risk of developing more sores. Canker sores should go away after a few days. In the meantime, avoid making contact with the sore as much as possible. Canker sore medication that can help dull the pain is available at most pharmacies. You can also apply salt or baking soda to the sore to help kill the infection, though this can be painful.

4. Infection

If your body has come into contact with bacteria or a virus such as streptococcal sore throat, the common cold, tonsillitis, sinusitis or others, your roof of mouth hurts, as the infection takes hold. This can be caused by sinus pressure pushing on the mouth or bacteria irritating the flesh inside the mouth.


Consuming foods that are high in B and C vitamins can help infected sores in the mouth heal more quickly.

5. Dental Issues

If a tooth on the top of your mouth has become infected, it can put pressure on the palate behind the gum line. A tooth abscess can cause ulcers or an infection to develop which may spread to the roof of the mouth if it is left unchecked. Wearing ill-fitting dentures or an oral device can cause the roof of the mouth to become irritated as well.


Visit your dentist for a check-up to determine the cause of your discomfort. You may need to have dental work performed or another oral device made to help alleviate the pain you are experiencing on the roof of your mouth.

6. Burning Mouth Syndrome

The reason why the roof of mouth hurts is usually attributed to burning mouth syndrome. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, but it is often suspected that dryness in the mouth or oral thrush can contribute to this discomfort. Symptoms of burning mouth syndrome are often more severe in the morning and will lessen throughout the day.


Eating yogurt can help reduce the burning sensation associated with this disease and will help reduce the presence of oral thrush. Applying a baking soda paste to the infected area three times a day can also help relieve the burning sensation and limit the appearance of lesions.

7. Mouth Cancer

The roof of the mouth can become agitated when mouth cancerous growths form. Cancerous growths can be melanoma or lymphoma. Lymphoma typically begins as a growth on the tongue or tonsils and spreads to other areas of the mouth. Melanoma may develop anywhere in the mouth, including sores on the roof of the mouth.


If you notice sores that change in color or grow at a rapid rate,it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will perform tests on the sore to determine whether the sore is dangerous and what type of treatment might be necessary.

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