If you can feel a bony protrusion on the roof of the mouth or on the inside of your lower jaw, you might be alarmed. However, a bony growth in the mouth, called a torus, is typically benign. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 26 percent of the population have tori on the roof of their mouth, called palatal tori, or floor of their mouths, called mandibular tori.
Torus Mouth: What's That Oral Growth?
A torus is usually attributable to genetics and stress in the jawbone due to clenching or grinding of the teeth. Research in Stomatologija examined twins and found that in over 93 percent of cases, both twins either did or did not have tori in their mouth, suggesting a strong genetic component. The study also found that the prevalence of mandibular tori was significantly higher in the group of people who grinded their teeth than those who did not grind their teeth.
These bony growths are benign and usually cause no symptoms. However, they can sometimes cause discomfort if the growth continues. Although they are slow growing, tori can sometimes grow so large that they start to interfere with speech and the ability to eat. Despite this, a torus is a completely normal anatomical feature.
A dental professional would not generally recommend any sort of treatment for torus mouth unless the growth hindered the placement of a prosthesis or caused problems with the person's oral health. As long as the growths are asymptomatic, no treatment is needed.
As with any other oral health condition, it is wise to visit a dentist twice a year to get a complete oral health examination. The dental hygienist will likely take X-rays for a comprehensive oral evaluation. Sometimes, the tori might interfere with placing of the x-ray sensor, but correct placement is usually possible without irritating the tori.
To avoid irritating the growths during your routine care, stick to brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush like the Colgate 360° Advanced 4 Zone toothbrush, which removes bacteria from teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums. This will keep your mouth clean and healthy so your tori don't become an oral health issue.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.