A torus mandibular

A torus is a bony elevation that creates a hard visible mass in the mouth, usually appearing in the premolar region. Typically, it does not appear until late teen or adult years. A torus will not usually hinder eating, speaking, or swallowing, but can interfere with denture placement and in such case would have to be surgically removed.


Tori are common and are usually painless. If you have symptoms consistent with a torus and are experiencing either pain or obstruction, visit a dentist in your area.



  • Genetics play a part in who will develop tori. Women, as well as people from Asian and Native American descent, are more likely to develop them.
  • Stresses on teeth. A torus can result over time due to excessive teeth grinding and clenching.


There are three types of tori, named based on their location in the mouth:  

  • torus palatinus, which appears on the palate (the roof of the mouth)
  • torus mandibular, which appears on the lower jaw, where the tongue connects to the mouth
  • buccal exostosis (also called bony exostosis), which appears on the outward-facing side of the bone that forms the tooth sockets surrounding the teeth

Tori range from 1.5 to 4 centimeters in diameter and can be single growths or grouped together in a cluster.

Similar Conditions

Tori can frequently be confused with other oral conditions.

  • oral cancer: Cancerous tumors are usually soft to the touch, while tori feel hard and bony.
  • impacted/unerupted tooth: A tooth that has not broken through the gum can be swollen, hard, and painful. Placement of the impacted tooth can help determine whether it's a torus or not.
  • tooth abscess: A tooth infection will usually form at the root, causing sensitivity and swelling. Although a lump may form, it will usually be soft to the touch.
  • mouth ulcers/canker sores: These kinds of mouth leisons can cause pain and discomfort. While they might appear white, they are not usually hard or bony.
  • salivary gland swelling: Englarged salivary glands usually indicate an infection. They might be sensitive to the touch but no hard, bony mass will be apparent.


A torus does not usually require medical treatment unless it becomes painful, interferes with denture placement, or is repeatedly being injured by sharp foods such as potato chips or fish bones. Treatment usually consists of chiseling off the lesions by a dentist experienced in removing tori.

 At the first sign of any unusual symptoms, consult a dentist to get the condition diagnosed and treated immediately.


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