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Mouth Diseases

Red Bump on Roof of Mouth

12/14/2009

Question:

Since yesterday I have noticed a red bump on the roof of my mouth. It is relatively small and hurts somewhat when I touch it with my finger. I was wondering when I should start worrying about this? and what this could possibly be... I am a smoker and have been for 3 years which is why I am even more concerned about this.

Answer:

To begin with, I can only hypothesize what is occurring without actually examining your mouth and eliciting a history from you.

You do list a concern with regards to smoking and that it is important to consider the relationship of smoking and this red lesion.


I would suggest, if the swelling and pain continue, to have it evaluated by your dentist or primary care physician.


Now, what could this be? The palate has minor salivary glands that can become irritated and /or blocked and in turn develop a red/clear bump. HSV infection could initially start out in this location as a small bump and also be quite painful.

You may have inadvertently traumatized the area (pizza burn or pretzel, chicken bone) that bruised the palate. A red bump could also be related to a small "blood blister" that occurred secondarily to trauma.

Finally, it may be nothing more than the normal anatomic variation of roughened, irregular-shaped mucosa that covers the anterior portion of the palate referred to as "rugae", and may appear as a bump if traumatized.


Now, because you are a smoker, if this persists or gets larger, I would have it evaluated to rule out more severe possibilities.

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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