The sensitive skin on your mouth’s roof goes through a lot daily. From time to time, the hard palate or the upper surface of your mouth may become painful and swollen. Read on to learn why do the roof of your mouth hurts and what are the treatment options.

Other symptoms of sore mouth roof

Inflammation in the mouth is one thing that you may experience, along with other symptoms. If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to visit a doctor or dentist for a detailed diagnosis.


Sometimes soreness in the roof of your mouth will bring along pain. Some causes of this pain can be serious, so you should look out for them. These are:

  • hepatitis
  • oral cancer
  • liver disease related to alcohol

Dry mouth

If you have a dry mouth, this is a sign of more severe lingering problems. A dry mouth may be due to an injury, burns from eating or drinking something hot, or blockage of salivary glands. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, resulting in dry mouth and inflammation in the roof of your mouth.

Sores or blisters

Cold sore and canker sores are another reason why the roof of your mouth hurts. These are small bumps that can cause irritation and pain.

Muscle spasms

When your body is too low on electrolytes, the result can be cramps, contractions, and muscle spasms. Maintaining the levels of minerals in your body will help prevent the symptoms of dehydration or overhydration.

Painful roof of the mouth – Causes

Understanding the potential causes of the inflamed palate will help diagnose the reason for your problem.

Mouth Injury

Trauma to the mouth can happen in many ways, such as:

  • Eating something too hot can burn the sensitive skin of your mouth’s roof. This can result in blisters.
  • Chewing hard-to-eat foods like candies, tortilla chips, or cereals can hurt the roof of your mouth.
  • A scratch on the roof of your mouth can result in soreness and swelling.

Mouth sores

When canker sores and cold sores begin to form, they can cause inflammation in the roof of your mouth. Anxiety and hormonal changes can cause canker sores. The cheeks or the gums surrounding your teeth are common areas of canker sore development, but they can also erupt on the roof of your mouth.

Cold sores are caused by a common virus called the herpes simplex virus. The lifetime of most cold sores is around seven days, and they go away on their own. Usually, these sores occur on your lip, but they can also appear on your mouth’s roof.

Electrolyte imbalance

The minerals in your blood, urine and bodily fluids are called electrolytes. It’s important to maintain certain levels of electrolytes to ensure your body runs smoothly. Too low or too high electrolyte levels can cause inflammation in the roof of your mouth, along with other symptoms.

Use of alcohol

Heavy drinkers who experience a hangover the next day may experience soreness and inflammation in the roof of their mouth. This happens because alcohol causes frequent urination leaving the body dehydrated.

A common symptom of dehydration is a dry mouth. Too much dry mouth isn’t good and can cause a painful and swollen roof of your mouth.

Other conditions

In special cases, the inflammation of the hard palate can indicate something very serious such as oral cancer. If the roof of your mouth hurts and you also experience abdominal point tenderness, this indicates hepatitis.

When to visit a doctor or dentist

If the cause of your mouth soreness isn’t something severe such as hot soup, it’s not necessary to visit a doctor. You can just wait for your mouth to heal on its own.

But in some cases, if the roof of your mouth hurts, you’ll need to seek medical attention. You may need to visit your doctor or dentist in the following cases:

  • If the swelling worsens or stays the same instead of reducing, it’s time to visit a doctor.
  • You have unmanageable inflammation and soreness, and it doesn’t get better with OTC pain medication.
  • If the swelling and discomfort are accompanied by other symptoms that don’t feel right, immediately see your doctor.
  • If your symptoms persist for more than seven days, your doctor may carry out a biopsy by taking cell scrapings from the hard palate.

Treating swollen roof of the mouth


If you’ve burned the roof of your mouth, rinse your mouth with cool water right away. If you notice any painful blisters, immediately call your doctor or dentist. For burns that don’t get better immediately, medicated mouthwashes can be a good treatment call. Some oral gels can help treat severe burns.

Electrolyte imbalance

Drink plenty of water and other fluids to rehydrate your body. But if your body is severely dehydrated, it’s best to seek emergency treatment.

Sores or blisters

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relieving gels can help minimize irritation and soreness.


Wait for the food to cool down

Wait for a bit to let your food or drink cool down before taking a bite or sip.

Chew gently

Chewing hard foods isn’t only bad for your teeth. They can also hurt your gums and the roof of the mouth. Chew slowly and take small bites.

Manage stress

A common occurrence of canker sores is due to stress. Take the steps necessary to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercising, practicing mindfulness, and talking to a loved one can help.

Summing up

Most of the time, inflammation and swelling on your hard palate will get better without a visit to the doctor. Most of the time, people end up irritating the delicate skin of their mouth’s roof. When recovering, give some time to your skin to heal. Stay away from hard and hot foods while your skin is healing, and say no to foods that irritate the hard palate. If the soreness and inflammation don’t get better within a week, visit your doctor or dentist. Contact Pearl Shine Dental by calling 281-477-7200.