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Mouth Diseases

Bumps on roof of Mouth

06/24/2010

Question:

i have red bumps on the roof of mouth that are extremely painful they come and go often and are red and swollen and i start feeling flu like symptoms. i have gone to doctors and have been told there is nothing wrong. yet i feel terrible pain and burning.

Answer:

There could be a number of possibilities to cause the symptoms described. Without being able to examine you I can only list such possibilities.

1. Have you had this condition evaluated by your dentist?

2. Do you experience these lesions elsewhere in the oral cavity or any other part of your body?

3. Has you diet changed or are you taking medications that could precipitate this response?

4. Do you have other symptoms like sore throat, swollen gland, low grade fever when these appear?

5. How long do they last?

6. Do they appear with regularity or certain times of the month, or are they associated with seasonal changes?

7. Is this associated with changes in taste perception or bad taste?

8. What are you doing to relieve the pain and burning, and how long does that last?

These are things you should be asking or relating to your healthcare provider, to assist them in trying to diagnose the problem.

Now the list of possible causes or problems to rule out:

1. Herpes Simplex infection. Palatal site, red lesions, prodromal symptoms (flu-like feeling before they appear), these can last for 7-10 days or longer, can burn/be painful/ and by the time you see your physician could clear up.

2. Allergic stomatitis. Contact allergy could result on red lesions; painful, but not generally associated with preemptive flu-like symptoms.

3. Coxsackievirus infection (Herpangina). Associated with nausea, diarrhea, fever, myalgia, headache (flu-like symptoms); oral lesions occur on soft palate and pharynx; can have associated skin lesions.

4. Small red bumps could be irritated minor salivary glands that populate the palatal tissue, and smoking can be a major cause of irritation and resultant redness.

Again, I cannot emphasize the fact you need to have this problem evaluated as it is occurring. For the most part, treatment is palliative.  For HSV, severe cases can be treated with antiviral agents, and in the case of contact allergy, removal of the noxious agent.

Hope this helps.

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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