Some people develop a bony growth or enlargement (hyperostosis) on the roof of their mouths or underneath their tongues. These growths are called Torus or Tori (plural). These bony protuberances can either be small or in some cases can be very large and are benign. Usually the bony growths under the tongue (mandibular tori) are on both sides near the premolars. There are some patients that only have it on one side though but most tori is bilateral.

These bony growths can be caused by a number of factors such as genetics, stress in the jaw bone or bruxism (grinding or clenching). Some symptoms may include inflammation of the gums, irritated tonsils, loose teeth, slurred speech, throat pain or sore jaw. It may be very difficult to take xrays as well. Some people aren’t bothered by the tori at all but for others, the tori is so large it covers the entire area below the tongue. When the tori starts to interfere with speech or if the bony growth will interfere with denture placement, then it may be necessary to have it surgically removed. This procedure can be done here at Creekside Dental in Kennewick or at an Oral Surgeon’s office and the complete recovery period is about four weeks but patients are able to resume normal activities right away.

If you have maxillary or mandibular tori, the odds are that you don’t have any issues at all. If you have any concerns though, your Dentist will be happy to discuss these concerns with you.

Barb Harris, RDH