Has it ever happened to you that you have noticed a ball on your palate, for example, when you are eating, talking or brushing your teeth? It's something that can happen to anyone, regardless of age or any other factor or condition. Although it is not for you to be excessively alarmed, it is very important that you act quickly, because the variety of possible causes is very wide.
If you have wondered “why do I have a lump on the palate?”, then continue reading this article from we tell you the main symptoms, the possible causes of its appearance, how you can know if it is benign or malignant and how to act to facilitate it to disappear, talking about possible treatments.
Symptoms of a lump on the palate
In addition to feeling the ball on your palate, you may also feel some of these other symptoms of a lump on your palate or the sky of your mouth:
- Swelling or inflammation.
- Irritation of the area.
- Color changes in the area.
You should know that not all the lumps that appear on the palate present any of the symptoms that we have just described. There are some that go unnoticed and, even, there are asymptomatic lumps on the palate, that is, they do not present any symptoms.
Possible causes of a lump on the palate
The possible causes for a lump to grow on the palate are very varied. For example:
- Smoker's palate: they are benign lumps on the palate that usually come out in smokers. The diagnosis is simple, because apart from the fact that the person is a smoker, you can see red lumps with a white center. The lesions tend to disappear when you quit smoking.
- Pyogenic granuloma: Although it can affect people of any age, it usually occurs in pregnant women in the middle of the palate. Its appearance is soft and pink in color. It can grow quickly and bleed. It must be removed by surgery performed by a dentist.
- Abscess or odontogenic cyst: the dental abscess is related to some pathology that affects the teeth near the area where the lump appears.
- Sexually transmitted disease: this type of pathology can cause lesions in the mouth. For example, herpes simplex causes very painful and annoying bladders, sores, or blisters, which at first may seem like a painful lump on the palate, gums, and cheeks.
- Mucous cyst or mucocele: as the name implies, it tends to form by the accumulation of mucus or the alteration of salivary glands. It grows slowly and is soft and usually disappears on its own. If it causes you discomfort, the specialist can remove it.
- Torus palatine: this protrusion is, in most cases, of genetic origin. It forms in the bone, so it's like a hard lump on the palate or gum. It doesn't hurt and almost never causes discomfort, but it can be removed by surgery.
- Pleomorphic adenoma of salivary glands: it is a benign tumor that usually appears on the sides of the palate, in the salivary glands. It grows slowly and painlessly, so it can go unnoticed for a long time. Although it is not cancerous, it is best to remove it because it can cause discomfort when eating or voice problems. If not completely removed, it can grow back, and in some cases even develop a malignant lesion.
- Malignant salivary gland tumor: Although there are different degrees of malignancy, this scenario can prove fatal. So, if you notice a ball on the palate, it acts immediately, because if it is this disease, the lesion should be eliminated as soon as possible. A biopsy is also performed to determine if more aggressive treatment is necessary to prevent metastasis or if it is not. This tumor can appear in anyone, but is more common in adults, smokers, and regular alcohol users.
Children may also suffer from lumps on the palate. For example, apart from the fact that they can develop most of the pathologies described above, children are very prone to gingival cysts or Epstein's Pearls, painless and harmless bumps.
How to tell if the lump is benign or malignant
The definitive diagnosis on the degree of malignancy of a lump on the palate is in the hands of the specialist doctor. It is necessary that you put yourself in their hands to know their professional diagnosis, which is the most reliable of all that you can obtain.
In the first instance, the dentist will do an anamnesis, a physical examination and evaluate the medical history and family history. It will then determine if other tests such as x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, biopsies, etc. are necessary.
There are symptoms that may indicate that we are facing a carcinogenic lesion:
- Weight loss.
- Difficulty healing.
- Acute pain.
- Excessive inflammation.
- Difficulty eating food and/or speaking.
If you have one or more of these isolated symptoms, it doesn't always mean you have a malignant tumor. Therefore, from we consider that it is necessary to have the professional diagnosis before any lump that you detect in your palate, because it is the only one that can tell you definitively if you have a benign or malignant lump on the palate.
What to do if I have a lump on my palate
As you have seen, a bump on your palate should not go unnoticed. It is important that you receive the appropriate treatment and this will depend on the type of lump and its evolution.
Your doctor may prescribe medications (such as antibiotics, pain relievers, or anti-inflammatories), do surgery to remove the lump, and even use chemotherapy in more severe cases.
There are also some home remedies for pain relief, such as cold-water gargles and aloe vera compresses. These remedies must be authorized by the doctor and never replace the treatment he indicates, but be a complement.
When you detect a lump on your palate and need to find the appropriate treatment, which will vary depending on the case, you will have to follow these steps:
- Stay calm: Nerves can increase your stress and make your overall condition worse, or they can lead you to make the decision not to seek specialized help. So, stay calm and avoid thinking the worst.
- Immediately turn to a specialist: although there is a good chance that it is not something serious, you should not take unnecessary risks. Acting quickly can save your life in the event of a carcinogenic injury.
- Tell your doctor everything: every detail about the evolution of your lump, your medical history, family history and habits can be useful for a good diagnosis.
Follow the specialist's instructions to the letter, even if they are uncomfortable or you think they are not necessary for you. Also remember that the most important thing is to visit a specialist as soon as possible. He or she will be the person trained to make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment, or do surgery if necessary. At we hope we have helped you enough so that you know what to do if you detect a lump on your palate.