What Causes Red Spots on the Roof of Your Mouth?

Red spots on the roof of your mouth can cause a bit of pain, burning and discomfort, although in some cases you might not realize their presence at all. While some of these can usually heal with time, some might be much more painful and might not go away for a long time.


There are several causes and variations of these red spots that you might end up experiencing. To figure out whether or not these spots in your mouth are harmful or harmless, identifying the cause accurately can help you move forward with the treatment.


Let’s take a look at these aspects in further detail below.


Common Causes

Through this section, you can go through the common causes of red spots and how they tend to manifest.



The mouth can be a vulnerable place. Physical injuries can easily occur if you are not careful, often resulting in red spots on the roof of your mouth. Some common ways in which you might experience some kind of physical injury can include the following.


  • An injured or splintered tooth that frequently irritates the roof
  • Dentures in your mouth that have become a bit distorted and wobbly
  • Drinking or eating something that was extremely hot
  • Injuries while chewing or biting your food
  • Injuries while brushing your teeth
  • Allergies and tooth or gum sensitivity
  • Irregular fillings in your teeth that might lead to irritation


Each of these can be painful to experience, especially if they end up resulting in red spots. However, in an ideal scenario, these spots will heal within a week or two. If they don’t, you can visit your dentist.


Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is also known as candidiasis and occurs due to the fungus Candida, leading to a yeast infection. Apart from red spots on the mouth roof, oral thrush can also result in white patches in the mouth.


On a general basis, it is actually quite common to have this fungus inside the body without the occurrence of an infection. However, if there is an external cause that can result in the growth and multiplication of this fungus, then a yeast infection becomes likely.


There are certain reasons that are more likely to lead to this kind of infection, such as:


  • Diabetes
  • Dentures
  • Frequent smoking
  • Cancer
  • Poor immunity
  • Certain kinds of medication like antibiotics
  • Dry mouth


To identify candidiasis, you should look out for:


  • Red spots and soreness
  • White patches on different parts of the mouth
  • Lack of sense of taste
  • Cracks in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Numbness in the mouth


Make sure you contact your dentist if you think you have this condition.


Strep Throat Infection

Red spots can also develop in the mouth due to a bacterial infection. This kind of infection is known as strep throat which takes place due to the presence of the Streptococcus genus of bacteria.


Children are more prone to this kind of infection, although it is still quite possible for adolescents and adults to develop it.


If you suspect that you have strep throat, there are some signs and symptoms that you should look out for to confirm it. These include:


  • Sore throat
  • Swelling of tonsils and neck glands
  • Trouble swallowing and eating
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Body ache
  • Nausea
  • Rashes and redness


Make it a point to contact your doctor to get an official diagnosis. The treatment here is not that difficult, although you might need to take antibiotics to help with the healing process.



Herpes, or the herpes simplex virus (HSV), is an infection that occurs in your mouth or on your genitals. Usually, herpes becomes identifiable due to cold sores that can appear on your lips, although these red spots can also occur on the roof of your mouth.


When it comes to herpes of the mouth, the most common cause is oral contact. This can occur either directly or through the usage of the same belongings and putting them in contact with your mouth.


This kind of oral herpes is known as HSV-1, with as many as 67% of people across the world under the age of 50 having this infection.


Poor immunity can also increase the risk of developing this infection.


If you have oral herpes, you can wait it out for a couple of weeks for them to heal. If the spots feel particularly painful or don’t heal on their own, you should visit your doctor.


This condition is contagious, so make sure you avoid any such contact until the sores heal.


Canker Sores

Canker sores commonly develop on other parts of the mouth such as the inner part of your cheeks and lips. However, in some cases, they might also develop on the roof of your mouth.


In most cases, these canker sores originate as red spots that can then grow a bit bigger before turning into white spots. They might also turn yellowish in color.


There are several causes that can lead to such canker sores such as:


  • Stress
  • Too much heat
  • Eating or drinking extremely hot food or drinks
  • Viral infections
  • Hormonal changes
  • Injuries
  • Allergies
  • Deficiencies


Some other illnesses and conditions like HIV and celiac disease can also increase the likelihood of canker sores.


Usually, these sores should heal within a week or so. You can use mouth gels to ease the pain and quicken the healing process.


Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth (HFM) disease is another kind of viral infection that leads to symptoms in the hand, foot and mouth while also resulting in a fever or flu. A sore throat and loss of appetite can also occur.


The hands and feet can develop skin rashes and red spots that can then result in blisters. These red spots also form on the roof of your mouth near the throat that can then lead to trouble eating and swallowing. Drooling can occur too.


This disease is contagious and most commonly affects infants and kids younger than five. The symptoms can last for 7-10 days and will usually go away on their own, although you might need to contact a doctor if they persist or intensify.



Mouth ulcers can grow in any part of the mouth, including the roof of the mouth. These can sometimes be painful and can last for a couple of weeks, sometimes even up to a month.


They can make it difficult to chew, swallow or even consume liquids at times since any contact with the mouth ulcer can cause it to burn. Infections can later occur as well if you are not careful.


Mouth ulcers can occur due to heat, hormonal changes, inadequate dental hygiene, frequent smoking, side effect of some medications, insufficient nutrients in the body and more.


You can use gels to soothe the pain. As far as possible, try avoiding spicy and acidic food and drinks as well.



Erythroplakia is another condition that leads to red spots on the roof of the mouth. It is commonly seen in people who drink and/or smoke to an excess, resulting in red and swollen sores in the mouth that can cause quite a bit of pain.


This condition also has the risk of becoming malignant and turning cancerous, which is why it is essential for you to go to your doctor and get a diagnosis and the necessary treatment so that you can get rid of the sores.


Proper oral hygiene and control over alcohol consumption and smoking can also help in this case.



Hyperdontia is a condition in which you might end up growing an extra number of teeth in your mouth. This is not exactly too much of a problem since your extra teeth might simply co-exist with the other teeth.


However, sometimes these teeth might lead to overcrowding and can often also brush against the roof of your mouth, especially while eating food or sometimes even talking, resulting in red spots.


If you think they are bothering you, you should visit the dentist and seek surgical removal of these extra teeth.



Treatment options can vary. Some red spots can simply go away on their own while some might require treatment and care. Usually, your doctor might recommend medication and it is only in rare, chronic and dangerous circumstances that you might require surgery.



Make sure you take good care of your teeth and mouth by brushing regularly and rinsing your mouth. Minimize the frequency with which you smoke and drink and make sure you drink plenty of fluids if your medicines are causing the issue.


Book a regular and precautionary dentist appointment as well.


Final Remarks

It is clear that red spots can occur on the roof of your mouth due to various reasons. Now that you know what these reasons are, you can correctly identify them and track the condition of the red spots. If they get too severe and painful and last for longer than a few days, it might be best for you to visit your dentist and seek treatment.