A bump on the roof of the mouth entails any kind of swelling that is generally painful in nature. However, it is not always that a person who has this condition needs to be alarmed, as this may even be an anatomical feature of the hard palate.
The word 'torus' means bull in Latin, and thus, this kind of bump is named so because of its large and bulbous shape. These bumps are large and strong in nature because they are made of bone. These hard bony over-growths are covered by pink, firm, non-resilient tissue of the palate. These bumps on roof of mouth are solid and so unrelenting that they cannot be moved by the finger. Sometimes, these normally start off as small bumps on roof of mouth, but eventually grow as the patient gets older. However, these over-growths are considered to be normal variations of oral anatomy and hence, the presence of this kind of a bump in mouth needn't be alarming. Sometimes though, these palatal tori may be so large in nature, that they either are very discomforting, or they do not allow oral appliances to stay, like complete and partial dentures. In such cases, it is advisable to get them surgically removed, unless the appliance placement can be worked around it.
Growths in Maxillary Sinus
Sometimes, due to a growth in the maxilla, that is the bone of the upper jaw, there may be a swelling that could protrude into the roof of the mouth and be visible as a bump. This occurs due to maxillary sinus cancer, which may present with other symptoms as well, such as sore in the nose, headaches, decreased sense of smell, etc. Another reason behind the development of such a bump may be adenocarcinoma, which is a type of cancer that could affect the minor salivary glands that are present on the palate. This often is caused due to smoking or reverse smoking (in which the lit end is inside the mouth, which is more common among pipe smokers and those who consume cannabis).
Sometimes, a tooth of the upper jaw may land up with caries, which may eventually reach the root canal. This then can lead to a tooth abscess, which is normally periapical in nature, that is, which occurs around the tip of the roots of the upper tooth. This leads to a swelling on the slopes of the roof of the mouth, which normally manifests as a painful bump on the roof of the mouth. Sometimes, if the person has very bad oral hygiene, with a lot of plaque and calculus, then there could be swollen gums around tooth of the upper jaw, which could manifest as a bump on the palate. Furthermore, if there is an infection of the palatal mucosa or the minor salivary glands, there might be a swelling on the roof of mouth.
Heavy alcohol consumption can cause bumps. Mucoceles, which generally appear on lips, or under the tongue and the roof of mouth are caused due to blocked salivary glands. These mucoceles are painless, but do not try to injure or scratch them or they may cause bleeding.
The treatment will depend on the underlying cause. As mentioned above, if there is an anatomical torus present on the palate, as long as it is not very large so as to cause problems while eating or swallowing, it is best to not surgically remove it. However, if it is causing trouble swallowing food or if it is coming in way of fabrication of a well fitting denture, then it is best to get it surgically removed. If the swelling on the other hand is due to an infection of the palate or the salivary gland, treating the sores on roof of mouth will help in receding the swelling and thus, get rid of the bumps. Similarly, if there is a tooth abscess, visiting a dentist and getting it treated with the help of antibiotics and by going in for root canal treatment is the best option.
Thus, a bump on the palate, though necessarily not a very alarming condition, may be an important indicator of a serious disorder like maxillary sinus cancer of minor salivary gland cancer. Hence, it is best to visit a dentist and get the condition diagnosed and treated at the earliest, so as to prevent any problems in the future.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.