Many people only think of visiting the dentist for treatment when the problem involves the teeth. However, the dentist treats the entire mouth, including the roof. Also known as the palate, the roof of the mouth is prone to a few different conditions that cause pain and inflammation. If you're wondering why the roof of your mouth keeps hurting, see your dentist to rule out these four conditions.
The skin covering the roof of the mouth is prone to developing many of the sores and ulcers that develop elsewhere. Cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus can develop on the palate and cause soreness that lingers for a week or longer. Canker sores also develop similarly, but they're usually caused by stress or hormonal imbalances rather than a virus. Sores that linger longer than a week or two are more serious and need a dentist's attention.
Food and Drink Burns
If you notice swellings or peeling skin accompanying the pain in your palate, you likely burned yourself by accident by eating a food or drink that was too hot. Many people don't immediately notice the burn and only realize something has happened after the pain begins. Very cold foods held against the roof of the mouth may also burn the sensitive skin. Regardless of the cause of the burn, you should notice your pain reducing within a few days and resolving within a week or less.
Palate cancer is one of the most serious causes of pain in the roof of the mouth. It is a relatively rare condition, but it can threaten your life without prompt diagnosis and treatment. A painless red or white ulcer on the palate is an early sign. As the ulcer grows, it finally becomes painful and may also bleed. If you develop a palate ulcer that sticks around for longer than two weeks, let your dentist check it out even before pain develops.
Burning and soreness that affects the roof of the mouth without any corresponding bumps, abrasions, or ulcers may indicate you have burning mouth syndrome. This is a general condition that often has no specific cause and may be linked to a lack of saliva production or an ongoing oral infection. Burning mouth symptom may cause pain in just the palate or the entire mouth, but your dentist can help with the right treatment either way.
To learn more, get in touch with a dental office like Cross Creek Family Dental.