Dental Torus and Tori

A dental torus (plural tori) is a benign growth of bone in the oral cavity. There are two distinct types:

  1. Torus Mandubularis – growth of bone on the lower jaw adjacent to to the tongue. In nearly all cases, it is seen on both sides (termed bilateral).
  2. Torus Palatinus – growth of bone on the roof of the mouth (the maxilla). When present, it is at the midline.

Photograph of a Torus Palatinus

Detailed photograph picture of Maxillary or Upper Torus

Clicking on the image will show a larger version

This is a large palatal torus we saw on a patient of ours. It did not bother her except that occasionally it would get “scratched” by harder foods such as crackers or toast.

Photograph of Tori Mandibularis

Photograph of mandibular tori with incredible detail

Clicking on the image will show a larger version

These are bilateral mandibular tori on another patient of ours (luckily not the same patient as the top photo!). Again, they did not bother her, but she had learned to live with them.

Causes and Prevalence of Tori

There are numerous factors that can cause tori to develop. These include:

  • Grinding or clenching of teeth (which is why we often recommend nightguards for our patients who grind)
  • Certain genetic factors (not well identified)

The prevalence of tori differs based on race. But in general, mandibular tori of all sizes can be found in approximately 10% of the population, while palatal tori can be found in approximately 3% of the population.

In general, treatment is not indicated, unless they interfere with fabrication of dentures or other needed dental treatment.