What's That Bump on the Roof of My Dog's Mouth?
What to Do About the Bump on the Roof of Your Dog's Mouth!
What to do when your dog has a bump on the roof of its mouth! Did you happen to notice a bump on the roof of your dog's mouth? If so, you may already be in panic mode, wondering if it's cancer or some other terrible malady. You likely have never noticed this bump before, until your dog was lying with his head on your lap and did a big, wide-open yawn. Therefore, you may rush to your vet, wondering what it is and feel nervous about it (maybe you've heard how lumps and bumps in a dog's mouth can turn out to have a bad prognosis in some cases).
What Happens at the Vet's Office?
Finally, you're at your vet's office with your heart pounding as your vet examines your dog's mouth. Your dog may not be too collaborative in having the roof of his mouth checked, but your vet manages to take a quick peek up there. You wait in anticipation, dreading a worrisome answer, suggesting it's nothing good or that more testing may be required to determine exactly what you're dealing with. Instead, your vet tells you that there's no need to do any testing. Alarmed, you think of the worst case scenario, "What do you mean there's no need to do anything? Is it that bad already? How did it get out of handy so quickly if I just noticed it today? Please tell me I won't lose my baby to some terrible cancer that will make him suffer so much!"
Instead, your vet smiles and tells you that the bump is perfectly normal, that's why there's no need to do anything. At this point, you can completely trust your vet and go on living your life as if nothing ever happened, or if you are a suspicious fellow, you may be wondering if you may perhaps need a second opinion just to make sure. Or, you may opt for the third option, which is to simply ask your vet more questions to find out how it can be possible that the growth is perfectly normal and doesn't warrant any testing or monitoring, but hopefully your vet beat you to this and gave you a clearer explanation.
When Is a Bump on the Roof of a Dog's Mouth Normal?
If the bump in on the roof of your dog's mouth, right in the middle and just behind the top two middle teeth and is sort of diamond-shaped, you are truly likely dealing with something perfectly normal. "That bump is called the incisive papilla, and it's one of the top reasons why pet owners make a panic vet appointment dreading the worse, explains veterinarian Dr. Truli on his website VirtuaVet. The incisive papilla derives from the term "incisive" referring to the incisor teeth and papilla meaning bump.
This bump, as many other body parts, has a precise function. In the middle of it, there's a hole that leads to a duct that communicates with the dog's Jacobson organ (also known as vomeronasal organ). The Jacobson organ connects to the dog's amygdala, an important part of the brain that plays a big role in emotional reactions. So when you put all these puzzle pieces together you can get a clear picture of how the incisive papilla allows dogs to emotionally respond to molecules such as pheromones which travel up the incisive duct.
Normally, the incisive papilla doesn't give any problems. However, according to the Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists LLC in some cases, it may swell as in the case of a malocclusion where the lower teeth puncture the roof of the mouth. If your dog's incisive papilla appears large, see your vet, consider your dog's breed though; according to veterinarian Dr. Marie, for some reason, the incisive papilla appears to be larger in golden retrievers.
Did you know? Humans also have an incisive papilla, but in humans it has a different function. According to Joel S. Teig, it's purpose is to provide internal padding so to protect the nerve exiting the palatal bone which is found right behind the two upper front teeth.
The Bottom Line
As seen, the incisive papilla is normal and a part of your dog's anatomy. It plays an important role in your dog's ability to assess molecules and react accordingly. If the area appears swollen though, you notice an abnormality or the bump on the roof of your dog's bump appears to be in a different location of where the incisive papilla is supposed to be, consult with your vet.
For Further Reading
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- Dogs with Black in Their Mouth
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Is it a sign of a big problem that our vet has found a pinhole opening from the hard palate, near the bump that you are talking about?
I wonder whether your vet has found the beginning of what's called an oronasal fistula. An oronasal fistula is an opening that creates a passage from the mouth and the respiratory tract.
It can present in the area you describe as a result of a malocculsion (incorrect bite) causing a canine tooth to puncture the roof of the mouth.
These can be problematic because food and fluids may leak into the dog's respiratory causing inflammation or infections.Helpful 4
Is the top palate in a dog's mouth supposed to be hard or soft?
A dog's upper palate is supposed to be made of ridges and they should feel hard. For a good reason, it is known as "hard palate." However, the back portion of the palate is relatively soft, hence why it's known as "soft palate."Helpful 1
© 2015 Adrienne Farricelli