Swollen Painful Roof of the Mouth After Drinking Alcohol

A swollen painful roof of the mouth after drinking alcohol may result from excessive drinking the night before or may indicate underlying health issues. You can get a dry mouth from drinking too much because high amounts of alcohol cause a dry mouth from dehydration. A lot of alcohol consumption depletes your body of fluid because it stimulates your body to increase urine production. The hard palate, or roof of your mouth, could become sore from extreme dryness.

Young man covering mouth. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Hangover Symptoms

Increased thirst, headache and dizziness also result from dehydration caused by excessive drinking. Other symptoms of a hangover after heavy drinking include disturbed sleep, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, shakiness or tremors, anxiety, irritability and decreased concentration. Such symptoms may also signal an underlying medical condition. In either case, see your doctor if the symptoms continue.


An imbalance of electrolytes, chemical compounds in your cells, blood and other substances in your body can lead to painful sensations in the roof of the mouth, SteadyHealth.com notes. Excessive alcohol can rob your body of vitamins and minerals. A deficiency in potassium can cause an electrolyte imbalance, causing involuntary muscle contractions and spasms that trigger painful reactions in the roof of your mouth. Consuming hot beverages or foods may cause similar symptoms in your mouth.

Serious Disorders

In severe cases, pain or swelling in the area of the mouth could signal serious health disorders such as oral cancer or alcoholic liver disease. The majority of patients with oral cancer use alcohol frequently, according to Stanford Medicine, a health website for the Cancer Institute at Stanford University. Alcohol can increase chemicals that damage DNA in the lining of the mouth area and the throat, producing sores, patches or lumps in the mouth or throat. Tobacco use also increases the risk of oral cancer. Alcoholic liver disease can occur after drinking too much alcohol over time. Swelling and inflammation of the liver, known as hepatitis, may occur. Symptoms of the disease vary and may include dry mouth and increased thirst, abdominal pain and tenderness, fatigue, jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss.


Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic liquids after heavy drinking helps replenish fluids in your body and may relieve the swollen, painful sensations in your mouth. Eat nutritious foods, especially fruits and vegetables, to return the lost vitamins and minerals to your body. You may have to eat cautiously in the beginning if you suffer from nausea and vomiting. A home remedy for a painful roof of the mouth includes a potassium chloride solution mixed with honey.

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