In this article
If the roof of your mouth (palate) is sore, it can make eating and drinking uncomfortable and difficult. You may also have problems speaking normally.
Several things can cause a sore palate, including:
In most cases, it's not a serious condition and typically goes away by itself. However, if the pain is severe or lasts more than a few days, contact a medical professional.
The symptoms of a sore palate vary depending on the cause. You might experience:
Here are four potential causes of palate pain:
The roof of your mouth is a delicate and sensitive area that can burn easily. Eating or drinking something too hot can cause a burn.
Burn pain is usually immediate and can be severe. It typically goes away within 3 to 7 days without treatment and commonly heals by itself.1
Cool or frozen foods and drinks such as ice pops, ice cream, and yogurts may ease discomfort from a mouth burn. Avoid crunchy, hot, or spicy foods until the burn heals. Your dentist can also recommend mouth rinses that promote healing.
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a condition where your tongue and palate feel like it's burning. However, it can happen anywhere in your mouth or throat.
The condition seems to come out of nowhere, and you may feel like your tongue is burnt by hot food or liquid. Many people also feel dry mouth throughout the duration of BMS.
Without treatment, BMS can last for months and even years. However, getting treatment can provide relief within a few days or weeks.
There are two types of BMS:
BMS symptoms may include:
There is no known cure or effective treatment option for primary burning mouth syndrome. More research is necessary to find an effective treatment method.
However, depending on what symptoms you have, there are ways to control and manage them. Although it can take time for treatments to manage your symptoms. These treatment options include:
On the other hand, secondary BMS can be treated by treating the underlying condition that caused it in the first place.
Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that can develop on the hard palate or anywhere on the soft tissues in the mouth. They’re usually white or yellow with a red border and can make eating and drinking uncomfortable.
The lesions may resemble cold sores but don’t occur on the surface of lips and are not contagious. Canker sores are rarely serious. However, more severe symptoms can still arise in some cases.2
There are three different types of canker sores:
Doctors are unsure why some people experience canker sores. However, they believe it may be caused by a combination of different factors.
Some common causes of canker sores include:
Canker sores may also occur because of certain conditions and diseases, such as:
Treatment may include:
A doctor may recommend dietary changes or specific vitamins or supplements if nutritional deficiencies cause a canker sore.
The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores. If the roof of your mouth hurts and you can see blister patches, they could be cold sores. These mouth sores usually appear on the lips but can also develop on the hard palate.
Most people contract the virus as children, but the sores don’t always appear immediately. Instead, the virus can lie dormant for years until a trigger such as stress, illness, or a weakened immune system causes an outbreak.4
Some common causes of fever blisters include:
Certain conditions and diseases can also trigger cold sores, such as:
A cold sore usually passes through 3 stages:
It’s impossible to cure the herpes simplex virus that causes mouth sores. Once someone has the virus, it stays in their body forever.
The cold sore blisters usually heal on their own within 14 days. During healing, drinking cool drinks and eating frozen foods like ice cream may ease discomfort.4
If you develop cold sores more than 9 times a year or are at high risk of serious complications, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to take regularly.
Although the causes of a sore palate are typically harmless, some, such as oral cancer, are more serious. Mouth cancer causes cells to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. It can develop on the tongue, gums, palate, or anywhere else in the mouth.
Identifying mouth cancer early is the key to successful treatment. Therefore, if your palate is still sore after 10 days, see your doctor or dentist for an evaluation.5
Treatment for oral cancer may depend on your overall health and the location and stage of the cancer. Options include:
If the roof of your mouth is sore, you can do several things to ease discomfort:
Applying coconut oil may also help. Research shows that this natural oil has antimicrobial abilities. As a result, it may prevent a bacterial infection. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce redness and pain.8
Yes. Your dentist or doctor may also prescribe:
There are some things you can do to help prevent a sore roof of the mouth, including:
If you have a sore palate, certain signs signify it’s time to seek medical attention urgently. They include:
See your dentist if you notice any change in your mouth, as early diagnosis and treatment can increase your chances of a cure.
If you have a weakened immune system because of HIV or another reason, seek professional medical help if you develop any mouth sores.
Additionally, if you’re in considerable pain, generally feel unwell, or have trouble eating, see a doctor as soon as possible. Anyone with sores or other symptoms that last 10 days or more should see a doctor to ensure the sores are not cancerous or precancerous.7
Most causes of a sore palate are not serious and resolve within about 10 days. However, if the roof of your mouth still hurts after this time, make an appointment with your doctor.7
They can perform a physical assessment and take a medical history to help diagnose your condition. Then, they can recommend treatment or refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation.
A sore palate is a common condition that has multiple causes. Some of the most common include burns, canker sores, and cold sores.
Usually, the causes are not serious and resolved within 10 days. If you still experience symptoms after this time, visit your doctor or dentist.
They can perform a physical assessment and rule out any serious causes. They can also recommend treatment or refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation.
In this article