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What can cause holes in the roof of the mouth?

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Quick Answer

Palatal perforation can be caused by developmental problems during the prenatal period, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, or other diseases such as lupus or cocaine abuse, as stated by WebMedCentral. If an individual detects holes in the roof of the mouth, the person should seek medical attention.

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Full Answer

Palatal perforation is a condition in which the soft or hard palate at the top of the mouth forms "holes" or sores. The most common cause of palatal perforation is a birth defect known as a "cleft lip," in which the palates do not form properly, leaving a hole in the roof of the mouth and the lips deformed. The risk of a cleft lip is increased if the pregnant mother consumes alcohol or smokes cigarettes during pregnancy. This condition is most often treated by cosmetic surgery.

The second most common cause of palatal perforation is drug abuse. It is found most in individuals who abuse cocaine but can also happen with heroin and other narcotics. When cocaine is repeatedly snorted, it can eat away at the nasal cavity and eventually cut through all the way to the roof of the mouth.

Holes in the roof of the mouth that are formed later in life can be signs of serious illnesses and diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, diphtheria, and Crohn's disease.

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