Roof of Mouth Sore: Possible Causes and Home Remedies

Roof of Mouth Sore - Possible Causes and Home Remedies

The health of your mouth is directly connected with your general overall health. Therefore, you may be worried if you have discovered sore on the roof of your mouth. Usually, the reasons for having pain in the roof of mouth can be injury caused by eating food that’s too hot or sharp (like a potato chip), canker sores, or a cyst. However, sometimes sore roof of mouth could be a sign of something more serious.

The pain in the roof of your mouth caused by swelling, a sore, an inflamed bump, or a blister can cause discomfort and be very frustrating. This is understandable because the roof of mouth skin is very delicate and we use our mouth frequently throughout the day to eat and speak. Fortunately, there are many home remedies that can help you soothe the pain, reduce the swelling, and get rid of a sore on the roof of your mouth quickly.

The roof of the mouth is usually divided into 2 areas – the hard and soft palate. The hard palate is the area behind your teeth on the roof of the mouth and the soft palate is the part at the back. The majority of roof of mouth sores occur on the hard palate.

This article looks at the various symptoms of a sore on the hard or soft palate of the mouth and gives you practical home treatments to get rid of a sore on the top of your mouth quickly. You will also find out when the signs of pain in the top of the mouth are serious enough to visit the doctor.

Roof of Mouth Sore – Possible Causes and Home Remedies

Here are some of the most common reasons why you can get a roof of mouth sore and what you can do to get relief from the discomfort.


One of the most common reasons to get a painful sore on the roof of your mouth is because of eating hot food. The skin on the hard palate is much more delicate than your tongue, and burns can cause blisters, swelling, and damage to the roof of the mouth.

Any type of hot food or beverage can cause injury to the top of the mouth. However, one of the most common foods is pizza that causes burns on the hard palate. This occurs because the hot cheese on the top of the pizza is at a higher temperature than the pizza base. Therefore, a thermal burn to the hard palate is sometimes called “pizza palate.”

According to the journal Registered Dental Hygienist, foods and drinks heated in a microwave are generally common reasons for burning the upper part of your mouth. This is because microwaves tend to heat food and liquid unevenly.1

To treat minor burns naturally, the Mayo Clinic recommends putting something cool on the damaged skin or applying aloe vera.2

To soothe burned skin in your mouth, take small drinks of cool, iced water and hold it in your mouth for 10-15 seconds. Do this repeatedly until the pain goes away.

Aloe vera is a great home remedy to treat burns and help burned skin heal quicker. One study in the journal Burns found that aloe vera helps burns to heal quicker. In fact, the study showed that burn wounds healed around one week quicker!3 Since commercial aloe vera gel may contain other ingredients that can make it unsafe for use inside the mouth, make sure to read the product label. Apply aloe vera to the roof of your mouth by putting some pure aloe vera gel on a cotton swab and gently applying to the affected area to help the skin on the hard palate heal quicker and prevent blisters from forming.

Another great ingredient to treat burns, and to speed up the healing process of sore on roof of mouth is honey. The journal Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters reported that when honey is applied to burns and wounds, it directly reduces inflammation and has an antibacterial effect on damaged skin. It also helps wounds to heal quicker.5

Simply apply honey to the roof of mouth sore and allow the honey to sit there for a few moments before swallowing. Although all raw honey is beneficial for soothing burn pain and for speeding up the healing process, one of the best types of honey for wound healing is Manuka honey.


Infections in the mouth can cause swelling, discomfort, and painful abscesses in the hard palate. The infection can be caused by tooth decay, bacteria getting into an injury in the roof of the mouth or a viral infection.

Doctor of Dental Surgery, Dr. David F. Murchison says that infections from teeth or gums can cause a pus-filled bump to form and this can cause inflammation around the infected area.4 If the bacterial infection occurs on the palate side of the teeth, the abscess can affect the roof of the mouth.

If you notice painful swelling in your hard palate around your teeth, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible for a checkup. The infection causing the inflamed abscess in your mouth needs to be treated to prevent it from spreading in the mouth.

Injury / trauma

Injury or trauma to the roof of your mouth can be caused by sharp foods like potato chips or nachos scratching the palate. Poor fitting dentures could also rub against the top of the mouth causing blood blisters or mouth ulcers to form which can cause irritation and discomfort.

When you remove the source of the injury (for example, getting proper fitting dentures) the damaged tissue in your mouth should heal quite quickly. During that time you should avoid hot and spicy foods that could cause more irritation to the damaged skin on the roof of your mouth.

Mucous cyst (mucocele)

A mucous cyst can form on the roof of your mouth causing soft swelling and a bump on your palate or on your tongue. Mucoceles are caused when a salivary gland in your mouth gets blocked and fills up with mucus. According to dentist Dr. Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., the symptoms of a mucous cyst on your mouth roof is a painless bump that is soft and round. The cyst can be up to 1 cm in size.6

Usually, mucous cysts remedy themselves and don’t need treatment by a dentist. However, if the lump becomes bigger or it causes you discomfort, you should arrange an appointment with a doctor or dentist to check it out and advise the best course of treatment.

Canker sores

The sore on the top of the mouth could be caused by a canker sore. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, canker sores on the top of the mouth only appear on the soft palate, not on the hard palate.7 You can also get canker sores on the tongue or inside the lips or cheeks.

It is thought that canker sores are caused by a number of factors including stress, injuries to the inside of your mouth, vitamin deficiencies, or food allergies. Although you can’t cure canker sores, there are many effective home remedies that can relieve discomfort that they cause.

Witch hazel is an effective natural home remedy to treat canker sores. You can use witch hazel as a mouthwash to relieve the pain and inflammation of canker sores in the roof of mouth and speed up the healing process.

Another natural remedy for canker sores is to use baking soda to reduce inflammation and help the sore heal quicker. You can make a canker sore treatment by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a little water to form a thick paste. Use a cotton swab to apply the baking soda remedy to the canker sore on the roof of mouth. Leave for a few minutes before rinsing off. Apply as needed to relieve the discomfort that canker sores cause and speed up healing.

I have written more information on canker sores that appear on lips or why some people are prone to canker sores on their tongue.

Cold sores (fever blisters)

Cold sores (fever blisters) are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and cause blisters filled with fluid to appear on the lips and gums. Fever blisters cause a great deal of discomfort and embarrassment. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, painful fever blisters can also appear on the roof of the mouth.7

Honey is a natural treatment to help get rid of cold sores faster. In fact, honey can be just as effective as popular over-the-counter pharmaceutical treatments for cold sores.

The antiviral effect of honey on cold sores was confirmed in a study published in 2004. The research found that honey was as effective as acyclovir for the treatment of sores caused by HSV-1. What’s more, there were no side effects reported on using honey to treat lesions caused by viral infections.8

To get rid of a painful cold sore on the roof of your mouth, use raw honey (Manuka honey is the best honey for healing wounds). Using a clean cotton swab, apply some honey to the affected area 3-4 times a day. Keep doing this until the cold sore is healed completely. You can also use Manuka honey to cure a cold sore in the nose.

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS)

Having a recurrent or constant sensation of burning in your mouth could be a sign that you have burning mouth syndrome. The burning feeling could affect just part of your mouth like the roof of your mouth, the tongue, inside of your cheeks, or lips. Or you could have burning throughout your whole mouth.

According to the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, there is no known cause for burning mouth syndrome. However, in some people, it could be connected with acid reflux, nutritional deficiencies, oral infections, or allergies.9

To relieve the painful burning sensation in your mouth, scientists who have carried out research on burning mouth syndrome say that a hot pepper sauce can help to relieve the symptoms.9 The active compound capsaicin that makes hot peppers spicy helps to desensitize the nerves to pain.

Using hot peppers for pain relief is just one of the many uses for cayenne pepper that I have written about on this website.

To make a hot pepper sauce mouthwash to relieve pain caused by burning mouth syndrome, this is what you should do:

  • Mix 6 drops of Tabasco sauce with a teaspoon of water.
  • Swish it around your mouth then spit out.
  • Repeat this 4 times a day to alleviate the burning pain sensation in your mouth.

If you think that heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is causing the burning feeling in your mouth, then you can find some helpful home remedies for acid reflux in my article about natural treatments for heartburn.


A bump on the roof of your mouth could be a small lesion caused by the papilloma virus. These small bumps in the mouth can occur on the lips, the hard palate, or gums.10

According to dermatologists, warts and skin tags caused by papilloma virus are painless and harmless and are usually left alone. However, if they cause you irritation or discomfort, you should see your doctor.11

Oral cancer

In rare cases, a roof of mouth sore could be a sign of oral cancer. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research sores in the mouth that are white or red and don’t clear up in 2 weeks should be checked out by a doctor for a professional diagnosis.12

As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to ensure the best treatment and recovery of the disease.

When to See a Doctor about a Roof of Mouth Sore

If your symptoms of roof mouth sore persist after a week or two, you should visit your doctor for an examination. This can help to rule out any serious causes of the sore on the roof of your mouth. If further treatment is necessary, prompt medical attention will help to quickly heal the cause of the sore in the roof of your mouth.

Read my other related articles:
1. How to Get Rid of Gum Infection (Gingivitis) Naturally
2. How to Remove Plaque the Natural Way
3. Bumps in Mouth: Causes, Symptoms and Natural Treatments

Article Sources

Healthy and Natural World