Oral treatment

Oral bacteria in pancreas linked to more aggressive tumors

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The presence of oral bacteria in so-called cystic pancreatic tumours is associated with the severity of the tumour, a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Gutreports. It is hoped that the results can help to improve diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers in the west. The disease is often discovered late, which means that in most cases the prognosis is poor. But not all pancreatic tumours are cancerous. For instance there are so-called cystic pancreatic tumours (pancreatic cysts), many of which are benign. A few can, however, become cancerous.

It is currently difficult to differentiate between these tumours. To rule out cancer, many patients therefore undergo surgery, which puts a strain both on the patient and on the healthcare services. Now, however, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found that the presence of bacteria inside the cystic tumours is linked to how severe the tumour is.

“We find most bacteria at the stage where the cysts are starting to show signs of cancer,” says corresponding author Margaret Sällberg Chen, docent and senior lecturer at the Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. “What we hope is that this can be used as a biomarker for the early identification of the cancerous cysts that need to be surgically removed to cure cancer, this will in turn also reduce the amount of unnecessary surgery of benignant tumours. But first, studies will be needed to corroborate our findings.”

The researchers examined the presence of bacterial DNA in fluid from pancreatic cysts in 105 patients and compared the type and severity of the tumours. Doing this they found that the fluid from the cysts with high-grade dysplasia and cancer contained much more bacterial DNA than that from benign cysts.

To identify the bacteria, the researchers sequenced the DNA of 35 of the samples that had high amounts of bacterial DNA. They found large variations in the bacterial composition between different individuals, but also a greater presence of certain oral bacteria in fluid and tissue from cysts with high-grade dysplasia and cancer.

“We were surprised to find oral bacteria in the pancreas, but it wasn’t totally unexpected,” says Dr Sällberg Chen. “The bacteria we identified has already been shown in an earlier, smaller study to be higher in the saliva of patients with pancreatic cancer.”

The results can help to reappraise the role of bacteria in the development of pancreatic cysts, she notes. If further studies show that the bacteria actually affects the pathological process it could lead to new therapeutic strategies using antibacterial agents.

The researchers also studied different factors that could conceivably affect the amount of bacterial DNA in the tumour fluid. They found that the presence of bacterial DNA was higher in patients who had undergone invasive pancreas endoscopy, a procedure that involves the insertion of a flexible tube into the mouth to examine and treat pancreatic conditions thus the possible transfer of oral bacteria into the pancreas.

“The results were not completely unequivocal, so the endoscopy can’t be the whole answer to why the bacteria is there,” she continues. “But maybe we can reduce the risk of transferring oral bacteria to the pancreas by rinsing the mouth with an antibacterial agent and ensuring good oral hygiene prior to examination. That would be an interesting clinical study.”

The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory. It was financed by the Swedish Cancer Society, Stockholm County Council (ALF funding), Styrgruppen KI/SLL för Odontologisk Forskning (the KI/SLL steering group for dental research, SOF), KI KID-funding, and the Ruth and Richard Julin Foundation.

Dental fillings could last twice as long

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A compound used to make car bumpers strong and protect wood decks could prevent return visits to the dentist’s office.

A team of researchers with the OHSU School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, have created a filling material that’s two times more resistant to breakage than standard fillings, according to a study published by the journal Scientific Reports. The new filling uses the additive thiourethane, which is also in protective coatings for cars and decks.

The team also has developed an adhesive that’s 30 percent stronger after six months in use than adhesives that are currently used to keep fillings in place. This new adhesive was described in a recent study published in the journal Dental Materials.

Combined, the new adhesive and the composite are designed to make longer-lasting dental restorations.

“Today’s dental restorations typically only last seven to 10 years before they fail,” said Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., corresponding author of the studies published in Scientific Reportsand Dental Materials. Pfeifer is an associate professor of restorative dentistry (biomaterials and biomechanics) in the OHSU School of Dentistry.

“They crack under the pressure of chewing, or have gaps form between the filling and the tooth, which allow bacteria to seep in and a new cavity to form,” Pfeifer said. “Every time this happens, the tooth under the restorations becomes weaker and weaker, and what starts as a small cavity may end up with root canal damage, a lost tooth or even life-threatening infections.

“Stronger dental materials mean patients won’t have to get fillings repaired or replaced nearly as often,” she said. “This not only saves them money and hassle, but also prevents more serious problems and more extensive treatment.”

The adhesive described in the Dental Materials study uses a specific kind of polymer — known as (meth)acrylamides — that is much more resistant to damage in water, bacteria and enzymes in the mouth than standard adhesives currently used in dentistry. The composite material described in Scientific Reports uses thiourethane, which holds up much better to chewing.

Pfeifer and Jack Ferracane, Ph.D., chair and professor of restorative dentistry, led the materials’ development.

The study published in Dental Materials was supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, grants K02 DE025280, R01 DE026113, and U01 DE023756. The study published in Scientific Reports was supported by NIDCR grants 1R15-DE023211-01A1, 1U01-DE02756-01 and K02 DE025280.

Children in pain waiting half a year for dental operations up 50%, Labour warns

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Children waiting 253 days on average to remove rotting teeth in worst performing hospitals, figures show. Dentistry experts have warned of a “troubling” increase in children being made to wait in pain for six months or more for surgery to treat serious dental problems, up 50 per cent in the past two years.

Figures obtained by Labour show the pressures on NHS waiting lists are being made even worse by an avoidable crisis of tooth decay from sugar consumption and a failure to promote good oral hygiene. Children in poorer areas are much harder hit the British Dental Association (BDA) said, adding that the ballooning waiting lists are another example of the “government failure to tackle wholly preventable disease”.

The statistics show numbers of under-18s waiting for dental surgery which requires general anaesthetic rose 15 per cent in two years, with a total of 13,548 on the list in 2017 – 1,742 more than in 2015. But pressures across the NHS mean many more young people forced to wait months for treatment. There were 984 children who waited over six months in 2015, by 2017 that had risen to 1,498.

Patients at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital with the longest waits in the country, children waited 253 days for treatment after a referral from their dentist. “These figures paint a concerning picture,” said Professor Michael Escudier, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ dental faculty.

“The thought of children waiting in pain for weeks or months before they receive treatment for a serious dental problem is troubling for all of us, and highlights the need to ensure all children have timely access to dental services when they need them.”

Dental operations to remove decaying teeth are one of the most common surgical procedures and 90 per cent are preventable. “As well as taking action to relieve the pressure on the NHS, one of the most important things we can do to bring these numbers down is stop children getting tooth decay in the first place,” Prof Escudier added.

“It is completely unacceptable that vulnerable children are increasingly waiting for months in agony to have their teeth fixed,” said shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth. Labour has also had “horrific” reports of people who couldn’t afford dental treatment resorting to DIY tooth extraction kits. “In the fifth richest nation in the world this is a damning indictment of Tory neglect of our health service,” he added.

While the government has launched a sugar tax on soft drinks, which came into force in April, it was criticised for failing to impose such a levy on sugary foods and for exempting equally sugary milkshake drinks.

Unlike Wales and Scotland England doesn’t have a dedicated programme to promote oral health children in schools and nursery, something Labour has pledged to introduce. Public Health England data shows a five-year old in Pendle, Lancashire has on average 2.3 teeth decayed, missing or filled. In health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt’s constituency of Waverley in leafy Surrey, the equivalent figure is 0.1.

“The growing number of young children on waiting lists for tooth extractions is symptomatic of government failure to tackle a wholly preventable disease,” BDA chair Mick Armstrong said. “The vast oral health inequalities we are seeing between rich and poor are not inevitable.”

Damaged teeth can be regrown naturally using an Alzheimer’s drug, scientists discover

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A way to naturally regrow damaged teeth has been discovered by scientists in a breakthrough that could significantly reduce the need for fillings. Researchers at King’s College London (KCL) found that a drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease was able to stimulate the tooth to create new dentine capable of filling in large cavities.

Teeth can already cope with small areas of damage using the same process, but when the holes become too large a dentist must insert artificial cements or the tooth will be lost.

Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, said: “The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.

“In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

If a tooth is damaged or infected, the soft inner pulp can become exposed, risking further infection. When this happens, a band of dentine, the hard material that makes up most of the tooth, will attempt to bridge the gap and seal off the pulp.

But the researchers found that the natural repair mechanism could be boosted if the drug Tideglusib was used. Previously it has been trialled as a treatment for various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s.

It works by stimulating stem cells, which can turn into any type of tissue in the body, already present in the pulp to create new dentine.

The drug and a substance called glycogen synthase kinase were applied to the tooth on a biodegradable sponge made from collagen.

As the sponge degraded, it was replaced by dentine “leading to complete, natural repair”, according to a statement about the research issued by KCL. The scientists found the drug could “potentially” reduce the need for fillings.

The KCL statement added: “The novel, biological approach could see teeth use their natural ability to repair large cavities rather than using cements or fillings, which are prone to infections and often need replacing a number of times. 

“Indeed when fillings fail or infection occurs, dentists have to remove and fill an area that is larger than what is affected, and after multiple treatments the tooth may eventually need to be extracted. “As this new method encourages natural tooth repair, it could eliminate all of these issues, providing a more natural solution for patients.”


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After weeks of agony with a raging toothache, Claire Skipper made a desperate bid to stop the pain once and for all. At 3am, she downed several shots of whisky, went into the garden shed and began yanking at her rotten molar with a pair of pliers. Her attempt at amateur dentistry was, unsurprisingly, a failure. The tooth snapped in half and Claire, 29, was left writhing in even more agony. Such is the difficulty for people in accessing and affording an NHS dentist in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

But now a charity, Dentaid, which cares for people’s teeth across the developing world, has come to the rescue of low-income families, homeless people, migrants and others in the town who are missing out on dental services.

It is working with local dentists, who are providing their services for free, to offer its first out-of-hours “pay if you can” emergency scheme in the UK, with the support of a community food project.

It comes as NHS dentists across the country warned this week that the system is unfit for purpose and that dental health is falling to third-world levels in parts of England.

The Independent found a steady flow of patients using the out-of-hours service at the Dewsbury Dental Centre in Halifax Road, which first opened in the 1920s.

“It’s very hard to get a dentist in Dewsbury,” says Jack Swallow, an 81-year-old grandfather of seven, who has just had a filling. “I’m just grateful that they have seen to me tonight.

“I managed to see a dentist some time ago to have a cap on one of my teeth and was told afterwards that it would cost £220. I couldn’t pay it with my pension and had to get help from my family.”

Other patients having fillings include Fatima Sidat, 41, who says she was crossed off the register at her NHS surgery after being a patient for 10 years. “I’ve been trying to find a new dentist for two years,” she says. “People shouldn’t have to do this, but you can’t live with the pain and you have to eat. It’s fantastic that these dentists are giving up their time like this.”

Upstairs are two brothers, Hader and Ale Maneeb, aged 13 and 11, who are taking turns to have teeth extracted. The boys, who recently arrived in Dewsbury from Italy, are with their father Maliq and younger brother Umar.

“It’s really good,” says Hader as he leaves the surgery, his cheeks flushed red after the extraction. “Now, I’m not in any pain at all.”

Previous patients have included a woman with only one tooth who had not seen a dentist for 28 years and man whose face was swollen with an abscess. A group of Hungarian patients even arrived with their own translator.

“I’d like to think all dentists joined the profession because they want to help people,” says Nick O’Donovan, who owns the surgery. 

“This is one way that we can give something back. Of course, the best thing for people to do is to have regular check-ups and good oral health, but there are people who are falling through the net for all sorts of reasons.”

A report by Healthwatch Kirklees, the local authority area that includes Dewsbury, found in 2014 that “significant numbers” of people were struggling to see an NHS dentist and that dental contracts were “inflexible” and “based on historical demand”.

The out-of-hours scheme was the idea of staff at the Real Junk Food Project in Dewsbury, a community initiative which supplies meals to those in need. 

Paul Burr from the project contacted Dentaid after he realised visitors were not able to enjoy their meals because of their painful teeth. Dentaid is more commonly seen in African countries where there is only one dentist for a quarter of a million people and where people often turn to witch doctors for help. In the UK, there is around one dentist to 3,000 people.

Ms Skipper is now fully recovered from her attempt at amateur dentistry. “That pain was indescribable,” she says. “I’d tried to get an NHS dentist, but nowhere was taking any new patients. Sometimes, I don’t have enough money for the electricity meter, so I can’t afford private care.

“No one in Britain in 2015 should have to resort to pulling their own teeth.”

Severe tooth decay in children could be symptom of wider neglect, experts warn

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40 per cent of children who need surgery for dental problems already known to social services. Children found to have severe dental decay should be referred to NHS safeguarding teams because it may be an indicator of wider neglect at home, experts have warned. Researchers at King’s College Hospital in London said untreated tooth pain should “ring alarm bells” for any clinician.

The team discovered that 40 per cent of children who needed dental or maxillofacial surgery due to dental decay were known to social services. The findings have led to a new process at King’s College Hospital A&E unit for children admitted with dental infections, which sees them assessed for child neglect and referred to a safeguarding team if necessary.

The study authors said they want to see the changes rolled out across the NHS. Researchers said GPs across the country are trained to identify general neglect and should be made aware that acute dental infection can also be a clear sign of neglect. The King’s team looked at the patient data of children who attended the hospital with a dental or maxillofacial infection requiring surgery between January 2015 and January 2017.

“Over half of the children we cared for were aged between five and eight, and indicates this age group is at greatest risk of harm,” said study co-author, Kathy Fan, a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon at King’s. “Sadly, by the time we treated the children they would already have suffered a sustained period of oral neglect, and probably been in pain.”

Consultant paediatric dentist and study co-author Marielle Kabban said: “Where patients or carers repeatedly fail to access dental treatment for a child’s tooth decay or leave dental pain untreated, alarm bells should ring for clinicians to consider neglect. “Awareness and confidence to escalate concerns as well as educate non-dental healthcare workers is essential to recognise dental neglect early and arrange treatment.”

The pair also suggest that all children who are made subject to a child protection plan by social services should have a dental assessment carried out. The number of hospital admissions for tooth decay among five to nine-year-olds rose to 26,000 last year, according to data from NHS Digital. Tooth decay was the main reason for hospital admissions among five to nine-year-olds in England.

Dentists refusing to fix their mistakes costing patients hundreds of pounds, new analysis finds

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Patients are being forced to pay hundreds of pounds to fix mistakes by dentists, according to a new analysis of cases.

Citizens Advice said it is receiving more and more calls about problems with dentistry – both NHS and private – with some dentists refusing to fix their errors.

The charity helped people in England and Wales with around 4,000 dental care problems last year, up by 9 per cent on the year before.

Issues included patients querying the charges made by dentists, problems with payments and delays with the complaints process.

But substandard service was the biggest issue in 2015 to 2016. An analysis of 354 cases showed around three-quarters involved treatment that actually caused the patient further problems.

Issues included dentists cracking healthy teeth during a treatment, fillings that came out and dentures that did not fit. In one case, a patient paid thousands of pounds for a crown that did not fit, could not be removed and which led to bruising of their face.

In almost a quarter (23 per cent) of these cases, patients said dentists refused to offer a refund or a free-of-charge repair, despite rules saying they should.

In one case, a woman in her seventies paid £500 to have her teeth capped. The dentist chipped her two front teeth during the treatment but refused to repair the chips or offer compensation. The woman then had to pay £700 to have the damage fixed by another dentist.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “If a dental treatment causes more problems for the patient, the law states that in most cases the dentist should be offering to repair this at no extra charge. Asking patients to pay could put their health at risk if they are unable to afford the further treatment.

“Dentists need to make sure that they aren’t charging patients for their mistakes and that they provide patients with clear information about how they can claim compensation if something goes wrong.”

Under the Consumer Rights Act, patients who go private are entitled to have any problems fixed by their dentist or, if it cannot be put right, at least a partial refund.

On the NHS, issues with things like fillings, inlays or crowns must be repaired or replaced within 12 months.

UK’s ‘sugar addiction’ leading to 170 NHS operations a day to remove rotten teeth

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The scale of “sugar addiction” in England and Wales has been laid bare in data showing that 170 children and teenagers a day are having operations in NHS hospitals to remove multiple teeth that have been rotted by sugar. There were 42,911 multiple tooth extraction operations in patients under the age of 18 in 2016/17 according to analysis of NHS statistics by the Local Government Association, which represents English councils.

This represents an increase of 17 per cent on the numbers four years ago, with a total bill for the operations – which have to take place in hospital under anaesthetic – of £36.2m. Dental health leaders said that ministers should be ashamed of the figures, and said a lack of funding for the Government’s flagship oral health programme means it is only reaching “a few thousand children”.

“These statistics are a badge of dishonour for health ministers, who have failed to confront a wholly preventable disease,” said British Dental Association (BDA) chair, Mick Armstrong. The BDA says England is lagging behind Scotland and Wales by failing to have a dedicated child oral health programme.

It adds that the flagship “Starting Well” policy, for children under five at high risk of dental problems, had no additional funding attached and is only running in 13 local authorities. Mr Armstrong added: “This short-sightedness means just a few thousand children stand to benefit from policies that need to be reaching millions.”

The total bill for tooth extractions since 2012 topped £165m, and the figures show numbers spiked again in 2016/17, despite a drop in the number of cases the previous year – when there were 40,800 operations. The LGA’s community wellbeing board chair, councillor Izzi Seccombe, said: “The fact that, due to the severity of the decay, 170 operations a day to remove teeth in children and teenagers have to be done in a hospital is alarming and also adds to current pressures on the NHS.

“This concerning trend shows there is an urgent need to introduce measures to curb our sugar addiction which is causing children’s teeth to rot.” The LGA is calling for councils to be given local spending powers for some of the money raised through the Government’s sugar tax.

“Reducing sugar isn’t just about tackling obesity, it’s about this important issue of dental health,” Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, and chair of the Commons Health Committee, told The Independent. 

“We’ve known for a while that the single biggest cause for children being admitted to hospital is to have rotten teeth removed. It’s a major cause of health inequality.”

A new Government tax on sugary soft drinks has already seen manufacturers start changing their formulas to avoid the levy, even before the law takes effect in April.

While the reformulation of Irn Bru caused fans to stockpile the iconic Scottish drink, Dr Wollaston said she hopes the Government will keep gradually extending sugar controls.

“We saw it with salt, it took ten years to gradually reduce the levels in British food but now you only really notice when you go abroad, somewhere where they don’t have these restrictions on how salty food is,” Dr Wollaston added.

“I’d like to see the levy extended to these sugary milk-based products and smoothies, which are currently exempt, and are often pitched as healthy but have very high sugar levels.”

These cases all took place in hospital because they are too complex for a dentist, and even NHS officials agreed tooth decay is an “epidemic”.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “NHS dental care for children is free, and tooth decay is preventable, but eating sugary food and drinks is driving this unfortunate and unnecessary epidemic of extractions.

“NHS England is working with the dental profession, local authorities and health providers and has developed Starting Well – a campaign targeted at high-need communities to help children under five see their dentist earlier and improve their dental health.

“In supporting the ‘Dental Check by One’ campaign, NHS England is working with the dental profession to help an additional 70,000 more children see a dentist before they reach their second birthday.” 

More than 1 million patients unable to get NHS dentist amid rising tooth decay crisis

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More than a million people in England cannot register with an NHS dentist, with many “left in pain” and paying the price for ministers’ “indifference”, dental leaders warned. Analysis of the NHS GP Patient Survey found one in four patients, roughly 1.03 million people, are not on the books of an NHS dentist and have been unable to get an appointment in the past year.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said the issue is set to get worse with three out of five dental practitioners in England saying they intend to reduce their NHS work, or stop entirely, in the next five years. Britian’s high sugar habit has led to soaring numbers of tooth extractions, particularly in young children, where they have risen 50 per cent in the past two years. Earlier this week a 62-year-old engineer from Truro, Cornwall, said he used pliers to remove his own tooth after waiting 18 months to see a dentist.

Access issues exist in every English region, but Lincolnshire is the area worst hit, followed by parts of Norfolk, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire and Cornwall, according to the NHS data.

Despite a wide-ranging NHS 10-year plan announced last month, the BDA says there was little good news for dentists and it says government spending on dentistry has fallen by more than 10 per cent in the last five years.

BDA vice chair Eddie Crouch said: “High street NHS dentistry is on the brink, and it’s the patients who need us most who risk losing out. “Across England practices are now unable to fill vacancies, as a system of unforgiving targets pushes talented colleagues out. The result is hundreds of thousands of irregular attenders – many with poor oral health – are falling through the cracks.  

“These aren’t just patients seeking a regular check-up. They are often people in pain, left without the care they need.”

But an NHS England spokesperson said: “More than nine out of 10 people needing a dental appointment get one, with a clear majority saying they are happy with their care.”

What causes a bump on the roof of the mouth?

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A bump on the roof of the mouth can be worrisome, especially if it does not go away quickly. Most causes of a bump on this part of the body are easily treatable, but it may also indicate a more serious underlying condition. In this article, learn what can cause a bump on the roof of the mouth, including possible additional symptoms and when to see a doctor.

1. Canker sores

Canker sores are round, open sores in the mouth. They may be white, yellow, or pale pink and are very sensitive. Canker sores are most common in the cheeks and gums, but they can also appear in unusual places, such as the roof of the mouth. There are various causes of canker sores, including biting the cheek while chewing and scratching the roof of the mouth.

These sores usually resolve within a couple of weeks. They are not contagious, but they can be painful or uncomfortable and may make eating difficult.Some over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription oral creams may numb the pain.

2. Burns

Hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, or foods that have just finished cooking can burn the inside of the mouth, including the roof. If the burn is severe enough, a bump or blister can form. Minor burns usually heal without treatment, as long as the person takes care to avoid irritating the sensitive skin.

3. Trauma or injury

The inside of the mouth is a sensitive area. Injury to the tissue on the roof of the mouth can lead to a bump forming.

This type of bump may result from:

  • puncture wounds
  • cuts
  • damage to the mouth from tobacco use
  • accidents from dental work
  • irritation from dentures

An injury may cause scar tissue to form in the mouth, which might be lumpy and raised. The sore may be painful or sensitive but will usually heal on its own.

Regularly rinsing the mouth with warm salt water may help promote healing.

4. Cold sores

Cold sores occur when a person has a herpes simplex virus outbreak. The virus produces blisters on the lips and in the mouth. They may also form on the roof of the mouth.

The signs and symptoms of cold sores may include:

  • a tingling sensation before the blisters appear
  • blisters that form in patches or clusters
  • oozing or open blisters that do not rupture
  • blisters that do rupture and crust over before healing

Unlike canker sores, cold sores are very contagious. The outbreak usually clears up without treatment, but it is important to avoid coming into close contact with anyone during that time to prevent spreading the virus.A doctor may prescribe some medications to speed up the healing process if necessary.

5. Mucoceles

Mucoceles are oral mucous cysts that form due to an irritated or inflamed salivary gland. Mucus builds up in the gland, leading to a round, fluid-filled bump or growth.

Mucoceles are not usually a cause for concern and will heal without treatment, although this may take several weeks.

6. Torus palatinus

A very hard lump on the roof of the mouth may be a sign of torus palatinus. Torus palatinus is an extra bone growth that is benign and not indicative of an underlying condition.

The growth can appear at any age, and it may continue to grow throughout a person’s life. It will not usually require treatment unless it affects a person’s ability to eat, drink, or talk.

7. Candidiasis

Oral candidiasis is a form of yeast infection that may cause red or white bumps in the mouth.

It is vital to see a doctor or dentist for a proper diagnosis of oral candidiasis, as the symptoms may mimic those of other conditions.

A doctor is likely to recommend oral antifungal medication to treat the issue. They will also provide advice on how to prevent the infection in the future.

8. Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Coxsackievirus is the name of the virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). The virus infects the mouth, causing painful blisters and red bumps.

As the name suggests, the symptoms may also appear on the hands and feet. Other symptoms include fever and body aches.

HFMD is more common in young children, but it can affect anyone. Doctors may prescribe medicated mouthwash to help relieve symptoms while they treat the virus.

9. Epstein pearls

Parents who notice lumps in a baby’s mouth may be seeing Epstein pearls. These are cysts that commonly appear in newborns.

Epstein pearls are white or yellow and will go away a few weeks after the birth without causing any additional problems.

10. Hyperdontia

Although rare, a bump in the top of the mouth may be an extra tooth. People with hyperdontia grow too many teeth.

In the upper jaw, these extra teeth usually pop up just behind other teeth, but sometimes they can appear further back toward the roof of the mouth.

A person with hyperdontia may experience pain in the area where the extra tooth is growing as well as jaw pain and headaches.

Hyperdontia is treatable, and dentists can usually remove any extra teeth without complications.

11. Squamous papilloma

The human papillomavirus may also cause bumps to develop in the mouth. These growths are noncancerous, painless, and may have a bumpy, cauliflower-like texture.

Although they can be distracting, squamous papillomas often go away without treatment.

12. Oral cancer

In rare cases, sores or bumps on the roof of the mouth may be cancerous. Bumps that occur due to oral cancermay be white, gray, or bright red, depending on the underlying cause. They may feel smooth or velvety.

Possible signs of oral cancer include:

  • a lump or sore that does not heal
  • a rapidly growing lump
  • an oddly shaped patch of tissue
  • open, bleeding sores

However, oral cancer is not the most likely cause of a bump on the roof of the mouth. Many people may confuse signs of oral cancer with other issues in the mouth.

It is crucial to give the sores time to heal. If a bump shows no signs of healing after 2 weeks, it is essential to speak to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

When to see a doctor

While many bumps on the roof of the mouth will resolve without treatment, some may require medical intervention. A person should see a doctor for:

  • very discolored patches in the mouth
  • pain lasting more than a couple of days
  • a foul smell in the mouth
  • pain when chewing or swallowing
  • severe burns
  • dentures, retainers, or other dental devices that no longer fit properly
  • trouble breathing
  • a fast-growing bump
  • a bump that changes shape
  • a bump that does not go away after 2 weeks
  • a bump that interferes with daily life

Anyone who is concerned about a bump on the roof of their mouth should speak to a doctor, who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment if necessary.

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