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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Itchy roof of mouth with red spots

02/13/2009

Question:

I have had some itchiness on the roof of my mouth now for about 2 weeks. I figured coming on with a cold or something but it persisted and is specifically the roof, finally looked at it yesterday and there is a definite patch of little red spots (cluster no larger than thumbnail) and when i scraped with fingernail, slightly rough feeling. I haven`t changed anything in my diet or vitamins recently, what could this be?

Answer:

Without seeing what is occurring first hand I can only guess what you might be describing.

With that said, I would be curious to know if this has appeared before. If so, does the itching proceed to a burning sensation or react to the ingestion of salt or sour food/beverages?

You may have a herpetic infection (HSV). This can occur as a cluster of red spots that may coalesce and also the itching may be a prodromal (early) response to the initiation of this infection. The time line fits (2 weeks) and the rough surface texture also fits with HSV infection.

Do the lesions occur anywhere else? Thus my asking if this has occurred before.

The red spots may also be the response to an allergen. Have you used anything new lately like a new brand of toothpaste or mouth wash or whiteners? This could be a contact mucositis or lichenoid response, but again without seeing it I am only guessing.

Again, if this condition persists or worsens, you need to see you rdentist or primary care physician.

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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