Why is There a Lump on the Roof of my Mouth?

Finding a lump on the roof of your mouth can be quite unnerving. No matter the circumstances, it can be difficult not to imagine the worst. However, there are many different disorders that can lead to lumps. At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team are here to assist you with all of your oral health concerns. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with an inexplicable symptom, so we’re happy to offer advice. Read on to learn the answer(s) to the question: “why is there a lump on the roof of my mouth?”


What qualifies as a lump? Generally, a lump is exactly as it sounds: a bump, nodule, or swollen region on the palate. The lump may be soft or hard, smooth or irregular, small or large, barely noticeable or highly uncomfortable, unchanging or growing, and it may be a variety of colors. The vast variety of symptoms demonstrate why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what your lump means, or worry about a condition that you probably don’t have. The more you know about the potential sources, the better you can manage your oral health.

What Could Cause a Lump?

There are numerous reasons a lump could develop on the roof of your mouth. These include:

  • Torus palatinus. This condition has a complex name, but it’s actually relatively simple. Heal Dove explains: “a torus palatinus is a bony protrusion on the palate (roof) of mouth. This growth is a normal and usually harmless bony elevation that occurs in the middle portion of the hard palate.” Basically, the bone begins to grow irregularly, causing a lump.
  • Mucocele. If your lump has the markings of a cyst, it may be a mucocele. According to Heal Dove, “a mucocele is a harmless lump or cyst-like swelling that develops in the mouth, sometimes on the palate (roof) of the mouth, which is caused by blocked salivary glands.” Injury to the mouth, as well as “frequent biting or sucking of the inside of the mouth,” can create this condition. Fortunately, “this is a benign cyst that can be easily treated.”
  • Incisive papilla. Your front teeth naturally have papilla, or small bumps, behind them. However, New Health Advisor notes: “these bumps can get enlarged” or temporarily irritated.
  • Plaque buildup. In addition to cavities, an accumulation of sticky, bacteria-hosting film on your teeth and gums can lead to a periodontal infection or even an abscess, which may cause lump formation. This is just one more reason why we recommend coming for an examination and cleaning at least twice per year.
  • Smoking. As if you needed another reason not to smoke! New Health Advisor explains: “smoking, particularly when using a pipe or cigar, could result in a condition referred to as smoker’s palate or nicotine stomatitis, which is marked by some whitish bumps appearing in the palate. These bumps could be marked by a reddish depression occurring at the center.”
  • Oral cancer. While it shouldn’t necessarily be your first thought, it is possible that a lump on the roof of your mouth is a symptom of oral cancer.

These are just some of the possible sources of lumps. Dr. Armstrong can provide a more definitive list of possible diagnoses.

Treatment Options

For those who believe prevention is the best medicine, Dr. Armstrong and our team conduct oral cancer screenings and examine your mouth for lumps at your biannual appointments. If you have a lump, we can utilize oral pathology to pinpoint the exact cause, diagnose it, and suggest the proper course of treatment. Our recommendations are as diverse as the conditions themselves, and may range from a round of antibiotics to oral surgery, depending on the diagnosis.

Do You Have a Lump on the Roof of Your Mouth?

Dr. Armstrong and our team are here to help you! Contact our Houston dental practice today to find out more and schedule our next appointment.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/oral-surgery/why-is-there-a-lump-on-the-roof-of-my-mouth/

Cancer of the Mouth: Symptoms & Signs

Unfortunately, oral cancer is all too common, and far too often fatal. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports: “close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer this year…of those 49,750 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.” The foundation notes that, tragically, “the death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer.” In many cases, oral cancer is not caught until it is in its later stages, making it more dangerous and difficult to treat.

Therefore, understanding the basic indications of oral cancer could literally save your life. At Dr. Craig Armstrong’s practice, we are proud to help our patients with oral cancer screening services. In the following blog, we describe the symptoms and signs to help you catch this condition early on and safeguard your smile.

What is Oral Cancer?

Defining oral cancer can help you know what to look for and how this condition can progress. WebMD describes: “cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue. Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away.” Basically, like all cancerous conditions, the diseased cells of oral cancer can snowball if left unchecked. WebMD continues: “oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.” The encouraging aspect of oral cancer is that, if diagnosed diligently and caught soon enough, it can be cured.

Spot the Symptoms

It is crucial to know the symptoms of oral cancer. Some warning signs include:

  • Abnormal growths or tissue changes in the mouth. Colgate Oral Care Center suggests that readers look out for “sores, swellings, lumps, or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat.”
  • Decreased mobility in the jaw, cheek, tongue, or other regions of the mouth.
  • Dental discomfort. Cancer Treatment Centers of America explains: “persistent mouth pain is another common oral cancer sign.”
  • “Difficulty swallowing or chewing.”
  • Loss of sensation in the mouth.
  • “Persistent bad breath.”
  • Inflammation.
  • Unidentifiable throat pain. Colgate Oral Care Center advises readers to watch out for “the feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat” or “lingering sore throat or hoarseness.”
  • “Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause.”

If you experience any of the above, you should see Dr. Armstrong as soon as possible for a consultation. Note that these are only some of the symptoms of oral cancer—if you notice anything strange occurring in your oral tissue, you should have your mouth checked to be safe.

How We Can Help

At our Houston dental practice, we’re committed to keeping our patients’ mouths healthy. When you come in for your biannual cleaning and examination, we’ll screen your mouth for oral cancer, so you can enjoy peace of mind regarding your smile. Dr. Armstrong can also use oral pathology to further evaluate, diagnose, and treat any changes in your mouth tissue.

Protect Your Oral Health

We’re here to help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful mouth. It is vital to have regular oral cancer screenings. We’d be delighted to help you maintain your dental and overall well-being. Contact our Houston dental practice today to learn more and schedule your next appointment.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/dental-anxiety-and-fear/cancer-of-the-mouth-symptoms-signs/

Mouth Acne: What Causes It & How Can I Get Rid of It?

It happens to the best of us: dealing with blemishes around your smile can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and unhealthy. When pimples pop up around your grin, it can be difficult to determine their source and what you should do about them. Fortunately, Dr. Craig Armstrong and our Houston dental team are here to help you with any and every oral health problem, including mouth acne. Knowing more about this condition can help you prevent and treat it. In the following blog, we explain what causes mouth acne and how you can get rid of it.

Blemish Basics

To pulverize mouth pimples, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of acne in general. Mayo Clinic provides a basic definition: “Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells.” This mechanism creates the swelling, discoloration, itchiness, and other assorted symptoms we’re all familiar with (and try to avoid).

What Causes Mouth Acne?

There are a variety of reasons the follicles around your mouth might become clogged. A few of the most common culprits include:

  • Cosmetics. The wrong foundation, cover-up, or lip products can stop up your pores. Facing Acne highlights “overuse of lip balm, especially scented and flavored lip balm” as a key contributor to mouth acne. The oil in these products can stop up your follicles. Added ingredients to make them smell or taste a certain way can also irritate the skin around your smile.
  • Toothpaste! That’s right: toothpaste. While of course you must brush your teeth, using the wrong products could lead to breakouts. Facing Acne explains: “toothpastes that contain sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) [a sudsing agent…to give the product a foaming action] can also cause acne around the mouth.” The bubbles created by SLS “can force tiny cracks in the skin,” making your pores vulnerable.
  • Diet. In her Cosmopolitan article, “What Your Pimples Say About Your Health,” Elizabeth Narins describes: “residue from acidic foods (think lemon and vinegar-based dressings) can irritate your skin and cause inflammation, while the greasy remnants of fried foods (like chips, fries, and basically every other delicious food) can physically block your pores. Either way, the result is the same: gnarly looking zits around your lips.” These not-so-follicle-friendly foods can also wreak havoc on your teeth—acidic substances can wear down your enamel, while greasy foods leave behind debris for bacteria to feast on.
  • Other issues. Of course, in some cases, mouth acne, like all acne, can be a holistic, systemic concern. Adult Acne points out: “in 90 percent of [adult acne] sufferers, such acne can be attributed to the wrong cosmetic products…in the remaining 10 percent of sufferers, acne around the mouth and chin region can be attributed to hormones, stress, and other health conditions.”

The good news is that most of the time, mouth acne is completely avoidable, as long as you practice good oral and facial hygiene.

Clearing Up Your Smile

Are you ready to get rid of mouth acne? To unclog your follicles and beautify your smile, we recommend that you:

  • Remove your makeup every night before makeup. Adult Acne notes: “women who tend to sleep with their makeup on are more likely to suffer from [mouth] acne.”
  • Use a toothpaste free of excessive fragrances, flavors, additives, and chemicals such as SLS.
  • Wash your mouth regularly, particularly after consuming acidic or greasy foods. Narins advises: “use a facial cleansing wipe to remove invisible irritants around your mouth after you eat.”
  • Eat a healthy diet, use high-quality cleansers, and generally take care of yourself. Improving your general well-being can help handle hormonal or other systemic causes of acne. In some cases, seeing a dermatologist or another qualified health professional may be appropriate, as well.
  • Come and see us for your biannual cleaning and examination appointments! As part of your general dental health checkup, we can make recommendations to help you clear up your mouth acne.

Contact Our Houston Dental Practice Today

Are you ready to take charge of your oral health and improve your smile? Contact us today to find out more and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Armstrong.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cosmetic-dentistry/mouth-acne-what-causes-it-how-can-i-get-rid-of-it/