Tori development


A torus is an excessive bony growth in the upper or lower jaw; when there are more than one, they are called tori. Tori are benign, harmless and asymptomatic bone protuberances that can present different shapes and sizes. It is not uncommon that tori are present symmetrically in both sides of the mouth.

These bone growths can develop in different locations in the mouth, the most common are:

  • The inner side of the lower jaw (called mandibular tori)
  • The roof of the mouth (called maxillary or palatal tori)
  • Outer parts of upper and lower jaws (called bone exostoses)


Genetic components can also play a role; however, environment factors seem to be the strongest triggers to the formation of tori. Tori develop slowly as a hard swelling and they are considered as a development anomaly, with the potential to keep growing throughout life.

What causes tori to form is unknown, but it is usually seen in people who have a bad bite. A bad bite, teeth grinding and excessive chewing all have the potential to induce bone growth in form of tori.

Some studies suggest that this adaptive response aims at reinforcing the bone to better withstand the excessive biting pressure.

Tori can affect oral health. The soft tissues that cover these bumps can become thin, sensitive to chewing, and more prone to injury and bruises. In denture and removable prosthesis wearers, tori can cause a lot of discomfort during removal and insertion. In the inner part of the lower jaw, the tongue’s space can be dramatically reduced by the presence of a torus, which can obstruct the airway and cause breathing problems. In people with obstructive sleep apnea (a sleep disorder that causes interruption in the breathing), tori can make the condition more severe.



About 5-10% of the population can have tori. Because of they are slow-growing in nature, many people are not aware of the tori in their mouths.

Removal is necessary if the growth affects the functions of the mouth, such as speech, eating and oral hygiene. Tori can make it very difficult to maintain adequate oral hygiene, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

If a torus interferes with a denture or a removable oral appliance, it needs to be removed. In smaller tori, the soft tissue can develop ulcers due to the movement of a prosthesis during placement and removal. In the roof of the mouth, a torus can interfere with the suction in the area, reducing denture stability. Larger tori can get on the way of a denture or removable prosthesis.

The removal of tori is done through surgical procedures under local anesthesia.



The pressure resulting from a bad bite can be very bad for teeth, bones, jaw joint and the muscles in the head, shoulders, neck and even back and hips. The overgrowth seen in people with tori can derive from unbalanced chewing forces, hence, surgical removal does not deal with the underlying cause and the chances of new tori growth are high.

Through adjusting the positions of the teeth and jaws, biting forces are evenly distributed, which avoids injury to the dental and bone tissues. Adults who have a bad bite can get is successfully corrected through clear aligner therapy.

This technology has made it easier for adults to go through orthodontic treatment, using clear plastic trays that gently shift the teeth and the bone. They are custom printed to fit your teeth and provide a safe and discrete solution.

If you think you have these bone lumps in your mouth, talk to your dentist today and get your bite checked.