Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Inflamed roof of mouth

04/19/2007

Question:

This is the second time the roof of my mouth has become inflamed. The last time I thought I had thrush but not even sure what that is! Anyway - it seems to start with burning the roof but even that seems to happen easily so not sure. This time it felt like I even had peelin skin up there. I can`t see what is going on but it is very sore and is taking a long time to heal - much longer than a normal burn to the mouth. Actually I think this one started after I sucked on some almond m&m`s and I thought that is what irritated it but why does it hurt so bad for so long? I thought it was better yesterday, but last night it got worse and this morningit is worse again. I just had my biannual checkup at the dentist last week and everything was fine - then this happened! Please help!

Answer:

First I would contact your dentist and schedule a brief appointment for them to observe and possibly photograph the palate and surrounding tissues. There are multiple possibilities for what is occurring, and without first hand observation, I can only develop a tentative list (differential diagnosis) based upon your report. That is why I suggest you see your dentist while it is occurring.

1. You may be allergic to M&Ms - either the coating or the chocolate or the nuts or all of the above - and what is occurring is referred to as a 'Lichenoid reaction"

2. Very possible that you may have burned it such as what occurs after pizza (it is the sauce that burns you not the cheese)

3. Palatal irritations can be very painful in light of the nerve supply and location that avails it to continued trauma from mastication. Thus eating acidic or salty foods that come in contact with denuded palatal tissue can be very painful.

4. Do you have a history of sinus infections?  That may precipitate irritation and pain associated with congestion.

5. Have you changed toothpaste, mouthwash, or anything in your diet? Again the possibility of contact allergy known as lichenoid reaction.

6. Do you have a history of cold sores (HSV)? Always a possibility if the vesicles coalesce and become ulcerated.

7. And finally, to address the first item, "Thrush" or Candida yeast infection or over growth. This can occur after a course of antibiotics or if you have an upper denture (Denture Stomatitis). Erythematous Candidiasis can be painful, it is ulcerative, and can feel like the roof of your mouth is peeling away.

Again, let me urge you to contact your dentist to evaluate and try to work you through this problem.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University