Mouth is the first part of alimentary canal that plays an important role to receive food, produce saliva and communicate. Pimples on lips, jaw, gums, tongue, palate and floor of the mouth may affect the ability to eat, drink, speak and breath.
Small white or red pimples may appear inside your mouth due to various reasons. Some of the cause of mouth bumps are canker sore, lichen planus, inflamed papillae and mucous cysts. In other cases, you may develop white lumps due to oral cancer.
Presence of red, white patches, or mixture of red and white patches should not be ignored since they may be precancerous symptoms. Seek medical attention if your bumps hurts, do not go away or keep recurring.
Bumps on mouth
There many reasons for having bumps in your mouth. Finding lumps or bumps in the mouth can be a cause of alarm, discomfort and pain. However, good news is that they can easily be treated through doctor’s prescription and natural remedies.
What are the causes of mouth bumps?
1. Allergic reaction
Mouth irritation or allergic reaction may occur due to the following factors.
- Leukoplakia can show up as a painless white plaque. These bumps result from irritation reaction to rough teeth, ill fitted dentures, smoking tobacco. Care need to be taken since they may be precancerous bumps.
- Many foods and chemicals may trigger allergic reaction forming mouth sores. Astringents, acidic, flavoring food ingredients, mouth wash, candy and tooth paste are some of the substances that can trigger allergic reaction.
- Tobacco exposure through smoking or dipping may cause mouth bumps. Tobacco contains chemicals that are toxins, irritants and at times carcinogenic. These chemical substances also change the mouth acidity decreasing the resistance to viral, fungal and bacterial infections.
- What are the side effects on the medication prescribed? Have you ever wondered about it? Most common drugs used during chemotherapy may cause mouth sores. Drugs that contain gold like those that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders may also trigger bump on mouth. However, it’s worth noting there are safer and more effective nowadays than these (with gold substances) varieties with fewer or no side effects.
Blisters (vesicle or bullae) and ulcers may form inside your mouth from any injury, damage or accidental biting. Poor ill-fitting denture, broken, jagged or rough tooth may inflict an injury on your mouth. These injuries may form blister that may rupture forming mouth ulcers.
Can stress wreck my mouth? Too much stress can cause problems in your gums, teeth and mouth. Grinding teeth is one of the worse habit often done unknowingly. This can lead to biting as well as problems on your Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).
Extreme stress may affect your moods. This may make you forget to brushing, flossing or rinsing your mouth. In addition, you may pick some unhealthy habits like snacking on sugar. These habits may cause gums or teeth problems that can lead to mouth sores.
4. Systemic disorders
Do you have any disorder? Many diseases may lead to formation of mouth sore along with other parts of the body.
- Lichen planus, may cause mild mouth sores and severe bumps on your skin
- Celiac disease, allergic reaction caused by an intolerance to gluten may cause mouth blisters.
- Inflammatory bowel disorder may also lead to bumps formation.
- Behcet disorder, an inflammatory disease that affect eyes, skin, joints, blood vessels, brain, genitals, gastrointestinal tract may lead to formation of painful bumps on lips, gums, palate, tongue or inside the mouth.
- Nutritional deficiency of Iron, vitamin B and C may also lead to bumps formation on your mouth.
5. Digestive problems
Can digestive problem lead to formation of mouth sores? According Mayo clinic you can develop ulcers that resemble canker sore in your gums, tongue, cheeks, lips and the roof or floor of your mouth.
The following digestive problems may cause mouth bumps.
- Crohn’s disease, this is a digestive condition that may cause swelling, inflammation, diarrhea, cramping and nutritional problems.
- Esophagitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. It may result to chest pain, nausea, mouth sore etc.
- Ulcerative colitis, this condition causes swelling in the large intestine. It’s main symptoms include cramping, diarrhea, mouth sores and others.
- Others may include; gallstones, cystic fibrosis, salmonella, amebiasis, giardiasis, coxsackie virus infection, inflammatory bowel disease, shigellosis, typhoid fever, celiac disease and drug overdose or poison among others.
Symptoms of digestive problems
- Systemic inflammation, especially for Chrohn’s disease that tend to make inflammation and mouth ulcers worse.
- Poor nutrition, Loss of appetitive may be experienced. This may trigger other mouth infections.
- Diarrheal which may result to dehydration easily. Drinking more water my help to prevent mild dehydration that is associated with increased risks of gum disease.
6. Mouth infections
Infection may occur due to bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Bacterial infection from gums, teeth or lips can spread and form pus or fluid filled abscess or cellulitis. On the other hand, introduction of new orgasm like bacteria that cause gonorrhea or syphilis may lead to formation of red painless sore or chancre.
The bumps may form inside mouth, lips or tongue especially in early stages of these infection. Untreated syphilis may lead to formation of white patches in your mouth. In late stages of syphilis, gumma (a hole) may appear on your tongue or palate.
Candida yeast may also cause oral thrush in children and adult. Candida albicans overgrowth may occur at time to people with weak immune system (like people with AIDs) and those who have taken antibiotics (like corticosteroids).
Herpes simplex virus may cause cold sores on lips or ulcers on the palate. However, the sores keep flaring up since herpes simplex virus never leaves the body completely. Varicella zoster virus may also cause shingles, a painful skin disorder.
Coxsackie virus infection may also cause cold like blisters in mouth and other parts of the body. This virus causes herpangina often associated with fever, sore throat and blisters in the back of the mouth. Herpangina is extremely contagious and can easily pass from child to child through coughing, sneezing, unwashed hands or contaminated surface a well as through personal contacts like kissing or sharing utensils. These virus plus many others do cause mouth bumps.
7. Damaged saliva ducts
Do you know how important saliva is? Saliva moistures allow you to chew, swallow and digest comfortably. It also helps to rinse off the food debris from your tooth, hence preventing decay. Problems may occur on salivary gland like blockage that may obstruct the tube to your mouth.
The blockage comes when stones develop due to dehydration. These stones form on the submandibular gland near the back of the mouth or parotid gland near the ears resulting to parotitis. Salivary gland cancer may all cause swelling, or a lumps around jaw, neck area or mouth. Cancer may also be accompanied by feeling numb, weak facial muscles, constant pain and difficult opening your mouth.
8. Cold and canker sores
Lumps or sore inside your cheeks, on the roof of the mouth, on the tongue or on gums can be fever blisters. These lumps may appear white in the center with red borders ranging from small painless to large and painful inflammations.
Generally, you don’t get these lumps from cold or fever but they are triggered by them. Cold sores bumps are contagious and spread through kissing, shared utensils o any other personal contact with a sufferer.
Canker sores or Aphthous ulcers may also cause small sores inside your mouth, tongue, cheeks or gums. These kind of bumps are triggered by stress, hormonal changes, infection, hypersensitivity or allergic reactions. The blisters last for about 1-2 weeks on their own. On the other hand, the persistent ones may be treated through laser, numbing creams or doctors’ prescriptions.
9. Hormonal fluctuations
Women know all about the hormones changes in their lives. However, you may not be aware that it can trigger a host of dental issues. According to Steinberg, it can cause overgrowth of plaque bacteria, puffy gums, bad breath and dry mouth.
Although good oral hygiene is essential for both gender, researchers say women should consider bio chemical factor that influence their bodies. Being a woman never gets boring at each stage of life.
- At puberty when the “monthly visitor” starts, it comes with suitcase of side effects. This period marks the surge in production of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). This causes increase of blood flow to the gums, becoming red, tender, swollen and increasing risk of bleeding when flossing and brushing.
- Use of birth control that contain progesterone increases its levels in the body. This may trigger inflamed gums and other mouth infections
- Pregnancy increases the levels of progesterone especially during 2-8th months of pregnancy that can trigger pregnancy gingivitis. Seek dentist help to prevent and overcome pregnancy gingivitis.
- Menopause causes numerous oral changes as a consequence of advanced age. These changes may include altered taste, burning sensation, sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks and dry mouth. Dry mouth may in turn cause tooth decay, gingivitis or gum disease. Receding estrogen may also lower bone density and in turn cause tooth decay then tooth loss.
On other hand high progesterone levels may cause
- Oral mucus to swell.
- Hinder collagen production.
- Suppress immune function.
- Stimulate growth of destructive bacteria.
- Increase metabolism and loss of folate, essential for healthy oral tissue.
10. Dry mouth
Can xerostomia cause mouth bumps? Well, we all need saliva to moisten, cleanse and assist of food digestion. Saliva help to prevent infection by controlling fungi and bacteria in our mouth. In adequate saliva will render your mouth dry and uncomfortable.
Dry mouth can be caused by
- Side effects of medications like antihistamines, decongestants etc.
- Lifestyle behaviors like smoking or chewing tobacco
- Nerve damage from neck injury or surgery.
- Certain diseases and infections like rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, stoke, HIV/AIDs
- Blocked or surgical removal of saliva glands
- Chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- Medical condition that can cause dehydration like diarrhea, vomiting and excess sweating.
Dry mouth increases the risks of gingivitis, tooth decay, oral thrush and other infections. If you realize you have dry mouth consult your doctor.
However, the following steps may provide relieve and increase saliva flow.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Chew sugar free gums.
- Take over the counter artificial saliva substitute.
- Breath through your nose not mouth.
Other causes incudes: Amalgam tattoo, a blue, black or grey colored lesion found in the mouth. It occurs mostly on the gum near the amalgam filling (mixture or alloy of metals; mercury, copper, tin, silver).
Bumps on lips
Lump and pimples may appear around your mouth. Itchy lips may not be a serious medical condition. However, it may be characterized by rash, blisters, hives, redness, dryness, peeling and bumps. Sun and other extreme weather condition may make your lips tight, dry, crack and even bleed.
What causes bumps on lips?
Various reasons ranging from acute to chronic may cause bumps of different size, texture and color on your lips. The causes of lip bumps include;
- Oral cancer.
- Oral thrush.
- Fordyce spots.
- Cold or canker sores.
- Hand, foot and mouth disease.
- Bacterial infections.
- Allergic reaction.
- Others include; Smoking, chapstick, juvederm, dip, sun, HIV, piercing.
Bumps on mouth palate
Mouth is a very delicate part of the body that cause worry for any pain and abnormality we suffer in the oral cavity. Pimples may appear anywhere in the mouth including on the roof of your mouth. They may be painful due to swelling, inflammation or irritation.
The pain may be extreme when talking, eating, smiling or breathing. The palate is divided into hard palate (part above the teeth) and soft palate (part behind at the back of the mouth). Bumps on the roof of the mouth may also be accompanied by itchiness, green or yellow pus and bleeding.
There is numerous cause of bumps on mouth palate, that include:
- Poor personal hygiene.
- Epstein pearls.
- Bohn’s nodules.
- Mandibular torus.
- Torus palatinus.
- Platine papilla.
- Dental issues like tooth abscess.
- Mouth ulcers.
- Diseases like canker sores, cold sores Herpes, STD’s and HIV infection.
- Swollen salivary glands and adenocarcinoma.
- Trauma like tongue piercing.
- Oral cancer etc.
Use of antibiotics and over the counter medicine are some of the remedies that can treat lumps on mouth palate. Home remedies listed here below may also be used to get rid of these bumps.
- Behavior change like keep off spicy food, smoking, taking alcohol and avoiding spicy, hot or cold food and drinks.
- Use of mouth rinse may help hydrate your mouth and reduce dryness
- Use of aloe Vera, an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Drinking milk, it has a soothing effects
- Drink a lot of water
Mouth bumps on the floor under the tongue
Small like lumps under the tongue or on the floor of the mouth can be brought by multiple conditions. Generally, these bumps go away on their own, while others may require medication to relieve some accompanying pain and discomfort.
Some causes of lumps under the tongue include;
- Geographic tongue.
- Oral lichen planus.
- Inflame papillae due to injuries, infection or irritation.
- Canker sore, begins as a painful sore that transform to ulcers with yellow or white middle. These bumps are triggered by hormonal changes, stress, injuries and poor nutritional diet.
- Oral cancer may develop on the floor of the mouth. It is often painless and may look like an ulcer or canker sore. The risk factor is thrice or four times higher for men than women due to tobacco and alcohol use.
Other risk factors to both gender may include; exposure to Human papilloma virus (HPV), HIV/AIDs and organ transplant. See you doctor if you have continuous growing lump, swelling, mouth becomes numb, unexplained loose teeth, painless lump and white-red or dark patches inside the mouth.
- Mouth cyst. A thin fluid filled sac that are usually painless and harmless. Also referred as mucous cyst or Mucocele. A cyst on the floor of the mouth under the tongue is called ranula.
Bumps on gums
Our gums play an important role in protecting our teeth and the surrounding support structures. The gums problems, majorly result from bacteria in dental plaque. These bacteria produce harmful toxins that create swelling and inflammation on the gums.
The main causes of lumps on gums include;
- Gingivitis: this is inflammation of the gums. Research show that in U.S over 50% of the adult population are affected by gingivitis. The disease may be accompanied by, red gums, swollen looking gums and bleeding when tooth brushing.
- Periodontal plaque: this disease exhibits similar signs to gingivitis. However, it can result to gum tissue and jawbone loss which cannot be recovered. This disease form painless bumps until later stages of damage.
- Cyst on gum (epulis) may also cause inflammation and bumps on gums.
- Gum recession that pulls away from its original attachment exposing the tooth. This may be due to tooth grinding, hereditary factors, trauma, chewing tobacco and brushing aggressively.
- Gum abscess or periodontal abscess.
- Oral cancer although it is less common.
- Pyogenic granuloma or granuloma gravidarum caused by hormonal shifts of pregnancy.
Bumps on jaw bone and cheek
Bumps can develop anywhere in the mouth, especially if oral cancer is the culprit. According to Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, the bone tumor may affect your jaw bone causing swelling and inflammation visible on side oy your face or inside the mouth. This may also cause the roof of your mouth to swell or lead to gum irritation.
Tumor in the jaw bone may also cause unexplained tooth loss and mobility. Loose tooth, pain, swelling and lumps on the jaw are realistic symptoms of jaw cancer. See your dentist immediately if you experience such.
Another causes of bumps on jawbone is temporomandibular joint syndrome.
Red white patches on mouth
- White or grayish patches may appear on your lips or inside mouth (called keratosis or Leukoplakia) due to mild reasons. This may be caused by irritant like tobacco, rough tooth, broken denture and exposure to carcinogenic chemical substances.
- Red patches or colored spot that look and feel smooth (erythroplakia) may be precancerous. These patches should cause worry. Seek doctor’s intervention to rule out any of the serious underlying causes.
- Mixed red and white patches (erythroleukoplakia) may also appear in your mouth. This is an abnormal cell growth that may turn cancerous. The condition may cause no in early stages. However, you may be able to notice some of these mouth abnormalities before you even feel them.
These patches signify abnormality in your mouth tissue. Sometimes these patches may be rough or hard. White patches mostly are benign although red and mixed patches are precancerous.
Ways to get rid of mouth bumps?
The following ways may be used to get rid of mild mouth bumps, ulcers, blisters and sore.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water or baking soda solution.
- Rinse with mild mouth wash such as deglycyrrhizinated licorice DGL extract, sage etc.
- Use milk of magnesia.
- Dab the lump with hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply some honey on the blister or ulcers.
- Suck on zinc lozenges.
- Take Echinacea, vitamin B complex supplements.
- Use apple cider vinegar mouth wash.
- Use chamomile compress.
- Coconut oil.
- Drink or take Yogurt.
Sources and References
Colgate: Chrohn’s mouth ulcers?
Health line: Patches of trouble?
Health line: Perioral dermatitis?
Health line: White bumps on lips?
Medical news today: Symptoms of salivary gland cancer?
WebMD: Top problem in your mouth?
Wikipedia: Human mouth?