An unpleasant, itchy feeling on the roof of your mouth could be an annoying sign of pollen. Unfortunately, a sensation of pins and needles on the hard palate could be a warning of something more serious. If you feel a sudden, nagging scratch, you need to know whether you need to see a doctor immediately.
10 Reasons The Roof Of Your Mouth Is Itchy
1. You Have Allergic Rhinitis
Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis, is a mild reaction to plant pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds. When the tissues in the lower sinuses become inflamed, the nose, throat, and roof of your mouth can all become itchy.
The most common tree allergy people have is birch, while ragweed is the most common weed allergy. People may also have a year-round reaction to dust and animal dander. Over-the-counter antihistamines are usually enough for mild symptoms, but a doctor may prescribe something stronger.
The most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, throat, and mouth
Also Read: 10 Reasons The Roof Of Your Mouth Hurts
2. A Minor Food Allergy Is Causing It
Some foods are closely related to the plants that cause allergic rhinitis. Eating these foods may cause an immediate itch on the roof of your mouth and in your throat. You can avoid the itch by not eating the food.
Common foods related to birch allergies include:
Moreover, those allergic to grass pollen may have a reaction if they eat oranges, celery, or tomatoes. Cucumbers, bananas, and melons can aggravate people with a ragweed allergy.
According to NHS, the following foods may cause an allergy:
- tree nuts
- some fruit and vegetables
3. You Are Starting a Serious Allergic Reaction
Severe allergic reactions, often from food, can cause your airway to close, a condition called anaphylaxis. You can lose consciousness and suffocate if you do not seek help immediately. Anaphylaxis can start as a tingling itch in your mouth but grows quickly.
People can also have an anaphylactic response to bee venom and certain medications like antiepileptics, antibiotics, and mood stabilizers. If you know you have a serious allergy and feel an itch on the roof of your mouth, you may need an EpiPen and a visit to the emergency room.
Common symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Itchy mouth and throat
- Tightness in chest
- Trouble breathing
- Stomach pain and vomiting
- Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Fast drop in blood pressure
- Dizziness and fainting
4. Non-Allergic Rhinitis Has Set In
Any condition that causes your sinus tissue to become inflamed could cause an itchy roof of the mouth. Sudden changes in air pressure can cause the blood vessels to expand, as can any number of systemic infections. Sometimes hormone imbalances or changes can cause a similar reaction. The best way to avoid non-allergic rhinitis is to avoid triggers if possible.
5. You Have a Viral Infection
Any viral infection that causes general inflammation might make the roof of your mouth itch, especially upper respiratory infections. These infections cause swelling in the sinus tissues that may make your nose and mouth itch. Depending on the virus you have, you may be able to heal with rest and plenty of fluids. Sometimes you will need a specific antiviral medication if you develop a fever.
Common viruses that may cause the roof of your mouth to itch are:
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Human metapneumovirus
- Various coronaviruses
6. You Are About to Develop Cold Sores
Cold sores are patches of blisters on your oral tissues. The herpes simplex virus causes them, and it is highly contagious. Sometimes cold sores can spread an infection to other parts of the body. The earliest symptom of cold sores is an itchy sensation on the site where blisters will develop.
The itch on the roof of your mouth will change to discomfort and pain as the blisters develop. Eventually, the blisters will rupture and heal, taking 7 to 10 days before they are completely gone.
7. You Have a Cold
Common colds inflame the sinus and oral tissues, causing discomfort and itching in the nose, mouth, and throat. There are over 200 known viruses that cause colds, but rhinoviruses are the most common. They are almost never serious and usually heal in about a week. However, if the throat or nose becomes raw from coughing or sneezing, a bacterial infection may occur, requiring antibiotics. See a doctor if your cold lasts more than 10 days.
8. COVID-19 May Cause It
Many coronaviruses can cause an itch on the roof of your mouth, particularly those associated with the common cold. The CDC does not list an itchy mouth as one of the main symptoms of COVID-19. But a July 2020 study from Spain found that it may occur in a small number of patients. Many COVID-19 symptoms overlap with other respiratory illnesses. However, tests and vaccines are widely available, so you should take advantage of them if you see common symptoms.
As per the CDC, common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Sore throat
- Vomiting or nausea
- Runny or congested nose
- Loss of taste or smell
- Body aches
- Difficulty breathing
9. You May Have a Yeast Infection
Different fungal yeast infections can cause an itchy roof of the mouth. The most common is Candida Albicans, oral thrush. It appears in white patches on the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth.
Symptoms of oral thrush include:
- Dry mouth
- Diminished taste
- White-colored lesions
- Burning, itching, or soreness
Oral thrush is most common in the very young, old, and those with weak immune systems. Antibiotics and poorly maintained dentures can cause oral thrush as well. A doctor will usually treat it with antifungal medication.
10. You Are Too Anxious
Anxiety affects people differently, but it very often triggers a biological response. Sometimes the response is a skin condition like hives or a rash. Although it is fairly rare, anxiety can also make an itch on the roof of the mouth. The best way to get rid of any symptoms is to become less anxious, which may require professional help. A doctor may also prescribe anti-anxiety medications.
Other common physical symptoms of anxiety are:
- Stomach pain, nausea, digestive distress
- Weakness and fatigue
- Muscle aches and trembling
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
When the roof of your mouth itches, you do not usually need to worry. Your palate may itch whenever something causes inflammation in your sinuses or mouth. Most often, you may just need some medication prescribed by a doctor. However, the itch from a severe allergy can be extremely dangerous. It might be the early stages of anaphylaxis, which can be fatal without immediate medical attention.
- Cleveland Clinic. ‘Anaphylaxis.’
- WebMD. ‘Epipen Auto-Injector – Uses, Side Effects, and More.’
- CDC.gov. ‘Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others.’
- NHS. ‘Food Allergy.’
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