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The palate is commonly called the roof of the mouth. It is divided into two parts: the bony hard palate in the front, and the fleshy soft palate (called the velum) in the back of the mouth. The hard palate is part of the oral cavity and the soft palate is part of the oropharynx

The roof of the mouth consists of a bony plate at the front and a soft non-bony part at the back. Together they act as a barrier between the oral and nasal cavities. Occasionally, the roof of the mouth may swell.

Swelling on the roof of the mouth may be due to several potential factors, most of which will resolve with minimal treatment. In less common cases, this inflation may be due to more serious conditions.

Other factors that may be associated with inflation include:

Blisters or other sores

Dry mouth

Muscle spasm or muscle contraction

Pain or discomfort

Causes of swelling of the roof of the mouth

A wide range of conditions can cause swelling of the roof of the mouth, including the following:

Wounds in the mouth: Most mouth sores, such as thrush and cold sores (herpes), appear on the gums, cheeks or lips. In some cases, these sores may appear on the roof of the mouth. Wounds can be accompanied by pain, blisters and swelling. Some people may experience pain or swelling before the sores appear.

Injury or injury: One of the most common causes of swelling in the roof of the mouth is injury or trauma. Some of the most common causes of injury are:

Eating hard foods that can affect the roof of the mouth

Eating or drinking something very hot

A scratch from a sharp piece of food

Dehydration can cause swelling of the roof of the mouth. Dehydration can lead to a dry mouth, which can lead to swelling of the roof of the mouth if the person does not take steps to alleviate the condition.

Some common causes of dehydration and dry mouth are:

Excessive alcohol consumption

Taking certain medications

Insufficient water consumption

Excessive sweating, especially on very hot days or when exercising


A person with dehydration that causes an electrolyte imbalance may also specifically feel weak or experience muscle contraction.

Mucocell is a fluid-filled swelling in the lips or inside the mouth. Mucocells are usually painless and usually occur after a minor injury, such as an incision in the roof of the mouth. They usually do not need treatment and may be emptied on their own. If a person has mucosa that is specifically enlarged or recurred, the doctor can easily empty it.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for the formation of squamous papilloma. Squamous papillomas are noncancerous masses that can form on the roof of the mouth.

These lumps usually do not cause pain. However, when diagnosed, people should seek treatment for them. It is possible for a doctor to remove the mass using surgery.

Underlying medical conditions

It is rare for a swollen roof of the mouth to be caused by a primary medical condition such as oral cancer or viral hepatitis. Oral cancer is uncommon. About 51,540 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018, according to the American Cancer Society.

Treat swelling of the roof of the mouth at home.

In most cases, the person can treat the swelling of the roof of the mouth at home or wait for it to heal on its own. Common injuries, such as burns from a hot drink, usually heal within a few days.

Cold sores, herpes, or thrush usually go away on their own. In some cases, the person may want to use medication to reduce the severity of the injury.

In cases of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, people can increase their fluid intake. In this case, it is better to drink beverages such as water or herbal tea. If the electrolytes are too low, one may consider drinking a sports drink or water to help restore balance.

In cases where a person has an underlying disease, they should seek medical help from a doctor. Cancer treatments can include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

When to see a doctor

Although most swelling agents on the roof of the mouth do not require medical intervention, you should talk to your doctor in some cases.

Some reasons to see a doctor include:

Pain that does not go away with over-the-counter medications.

Unexplained swelling that lasts for more than a week.

Swelling accompanied by other symptoms.