Roof of Mouth Hurts: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Roof of mouth hurts you because of many underlying issues. It stops you from enjoying food and drinks or makes you wince when you talk. The mouth is one part of the body that is used constantly, from talking, to eating, drinking, singing, shouting and other activities. The roof of the mouth is also known as the palate. It is the palate that separates the oral part of the mouth from the nasal cavity. It also works with other parts of the mouth to produce sounds.

Feeling pain in the roof of the mouth means there is an underlying cause which may be a serious medical matter or a mild one depending on other symptoms associated with the pain. 


There are many causes to why roof of mouth hurts, such as:
1. Canker Sores: Canker sores can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the roof. These sores cause severe pain. The cause of these canker sores are not known but there are some common things that will trigger their appearance, like changes in hormones, stress, trauma to the mouth or nutritional deficiencies. There are variations of canker sores like:

  • Minor aphthous ulcers: They have small wounds and are most commonly found in the roof of the mouth. They, however, heal within a week or two and leave no scar after healing.
  • Major aphthous ulcers: From their name, they are worse than minor ulcers and cause deeper wounds. Their healing period will take as much as six weeks or more and when they finally heal, they leave scars on the mouth roof.
  • Herpetiform ulcers rarely happen and can heal in about a week. They are not caused by herpes, their cause is unknown. After healing, they leave no scars on the roof of the mouth.

2. Burns: Sometimes, we eat hot or spicy foods like hot tea or coffee, spicy and hot soup, pizza and others that burn our tongue and the roof of our mouth. These burns can cause bumps, pain and irritation. One thing about burns in the roof of the mouth is that they go away on their own within days unless the burn is severe.

3. Cold Sores: These sores are not caused by a cold, they are caused by the herpes simplex virus that is found on the lips and hard palate. The American Academy of Otolaryngology reported that these sores are very painful and come as blisters with fluid in them. After some time, these blisters burst out and crust over as less-painful wounds. Within four days, these sores become crustier but they will heal completely after 8 or 10 days.

4. Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is one of the sores that cause the roof of the mouth to hurt. These sores should not be left to go away on their own as they become more severe if not detected and treated early. According to the American Dental Association, there are two types of oral cancer. The first type or category causes sores and pain in and around the mouth while the other category operates more on the throat area (oropharynx). 

5. Mouth trauma: Mouth trauma is an injury to the teeth or any tissue in the mouth. One of the symptoms of mouth trauma is intense pain and discomfort that goes away when the affected tissue has healed. The roof of the mouth can have this trauma when you eat hard foods, cutting the palate with sharp foods like chips. 

6. Oral thrush: Oral thrush is caused when fungus overgrows in the mouth. This fungus is known as the Candida albicans fungus. It causes yellow or pale wounds to be on the roof of the mouth and other areas. These wounds causes the palate to bleed and hurt. 

7. Squamous papilloma: Squamous papilloma or warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus makes white warts to appear on the roof of the mouth. The warts are not cancerous but they cause pain and discomfort especially when chewing or biting.


The roof of the mouth or palate can hurt when we eat. Some possible causes of why the roof of mouth hurts:

1. Hot or spicy foods: Hot foods are the commonest way to cause the palate to have pain, these foods can burn the palate and the tongue as well. Foods like hot drinks, hot soups, enchiladas, melted cheese on pizza and others. The pain can last for few days before fading off.

2. Dietary Adjustments: There are foods that make the palate hurt and become sensitive. Foods like tomatoes, tomato based sauce, carbonated soft drinks, citrus fruits and juice. Also spicy foods like chilli, curry, salsa and jalapenos.

3. Burning mouth syndrome: Burning mouth syndrome causes the roof of the mouth and other parts to have a burning sensation after eating meals later in the day. The mouth does not only feel pain but also becomes dry. These symptoms increase during the day and fade away at night.

4. Torus Palatinus: This is a bony growth that is found on the roof of the mouth, this growth is harmless. But when this bony growth is irritated, this can be why the roof of mouth hurts .

roof of mouth hurts
Roof of Mouth Hurts

Other Reasons Why The Roof of Mouth Hurts

Apart from the above causes of why the roof of mouth hurts either while eating, talking or doing any activity, there are other medical conditions that make the palate to hurt. Roof of mouth hurts is just a symptom that indicates the presence of the issue in your body. These diseases are:

1. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): This disease affects the digestive tract, it is an inflammation that disrupts the normal function of the tract and also cause pain. One of the symptoms people with this disease get is having canker sores in their mouths. 

2. Celiac disease: Celiac disease is a health condition that occurs when food containing gluten is consumed. This disease can cause patients to have wounds that are very similar to aphthous stomatitis or oral ulcers. These wounds can occur anywhere even in the roof of the mouth and cause pain. In most patients, these sores are the only symptom they have.

3. Lupus: Lupus occurs when the body’s immune system fights against tissues and organs in the body. It can cause fever, rashes, joint pain and even organ damage. Lupus can also cause sores on the inside of the cheeks, the lower lip, or the roof of the mouth.

4. Behcet’s disease: Behcet’s disease is a condition that makes the blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. This is a rare disorder that causes pain and numerous mouth ulcers to develop on the roof of the mouth.

5. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): HIV is caused by a virus, this disease is dangerous and can be life-threatening when it results to AIDS. One of the symptoms of this virus is canker sores that appear on the roof of the mouth, tongue, gums, cheeks and lips.


There are many ways treatments for why roof of mouth hurts depending on the cause and how severe the pain is.

  • Medicated mouthwash can be used to rinse the mouth so as to kill the infection that causes the pain.
  • Food burns and mouth traumas can be treated with oral gels and toothpastes.
  • Cryotherapy is a treatment method that freezes growth on the roof of the mouth like warts.
  • Medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan) can be used to treat oral thrush.
  • Steroids can be used to reduce swelling and to heal mouth sores and wounds.
  • Electrosurgery is a method that is used to dissect and destroy warts and cysts using currents from electricity.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful in reducing the pain and discomfort especially if the pain is caused by burns or trauma.
  • Rinsing your mouth with saltwater or baking soda rinses can relieve your discomfort and pain.


It is better to prevent the roof of your mouth from hurting rather than treat it when it does. Some common ways you can prevent the pain are:

  • Eating foods that are not too hot or spicy.
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene so that germs and infections do not easily infiltrate your palate.
  • Stay away from foods with lots of acids.
  • Eat food in small bites and chew gently to avoid cutting the palate.


The roof of the mouth is one part that does not get much attention unless we feel pain there. But this does not mean that it is not important, in fact, it helps in speech production and other oral activities.
When you feel pain or soreness on the roof of your mouth, it may be a mild issue or a serious one. You should not count every sore in your palate as nothing as oral cancer can cause pain as well. See a doctor if roof of mouth hurts after some days with medications.

error: Content is protected !!