Why is the roof of my mouth sore?

A swollen palate can be caused by an allergic reaction, irritants, an injury and infections that can lead to a burning sensation. This makes it difficult to eat and drink.

Here are some common causes why the roof of your mouth could be sore:


Hot tea or coffee and spicy foods are the main culprits that cause bumps on your palate. The skin on the hard palate is much more delicate than your tongue. A minor burn on the palate can cause bumps. The burns can damage the roof of your mouth, make blisters, and cause swelling. Usually a burnt palate heals itself within a week. Ease your discomfort by eating soft foods and drinking cool beverages.

Canker sores

Canker sores are round, sensitive sores that develop on the inside of your cheeks. At times, they find their way to the roof of your mouth. The causes of these sores are linked to problems with the immune system. The sores are then triggered by stress, certain foods and hormonal changes. These sores usually hurt for about a week and may disappear after two weeks. Stay away from foods that will aggravate pain. If these sores are still lurking after two weeks, see a doctor or dentist.

Cold sores

Cold sores are usually found on the lips but can also form on the roof of your mouth or gums. A cold sore is a common growth caused by the herpes simplex virus. A cold sore on your palate is usually painful with fluid-filled blisters. These buggers typically become crusty within four days after appearing. After eight to 10 days they should heal. Avoid touching or picking at them as this will slow down the healing process. If the sores don’t clear on their own, your dentist or doctor will be able to help you. The bad news with cold sores is that they come back, so it might be worth speaking to your doctor about a long-term prescription.

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Dental issues

The throbbing of a toothache can be intense, but an infection on the top of your tooth can put more pressure on soft tissues in the roof of the mouth. Tooth abscess can cause an infection or ulcer to spread from the gum line to the palate. See your doctor for treatment to help reduce the pain.

Mouth Cancer

While some mouth sores can heal on their own and end up harmless, some may be serious. Sores on the roof of your mouth can sometimes be a symptom of oral cancer. The good news is that oral cancer can be treated if it’s found early. If your sores are white or red and don’t heal after two weeks, see your doctor or dentist.

Some Home Remedies

Salt water

Salt water can help sterilise the mouth in case of an infection and ease pain. Mix a glass of salt into warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth for a minute without swallowing.

Aloe vera

A mouth gel made with aloe vera can help soothe inflammation and open wounds. Ask your pharmacist for advice.

Ice cubes

Place an ice cube in the area of discomfort.  The cooling sensation will help reduce swelling and numb the pain as there will be less blood flow to the area.


Apply honey directly to the pain. Honey is a natural treatment that can help get rid of cold sores. It’s also effective as an over-the-counter medication for cold sores because it contains flavonoids and phenolic acid which helps fight the herpes simplex virus.