Maxillary/Palatal Tori – Removal, Causes, and Treatment Palatinus, or Palatinus torus, is a kind of bone growth or bump on the roof of the mouth, or palate. It means you have a completely benign (harmless) bone growth, which is very common. Growth is very slow, and they are considered a normal anatomical feature. 

When growth occurs on the hard palate in the roof of the mouth it is called palatal (or maxillary) torus and usually interferes with full or partial dentures. Sometimes, if a patient needs a prosthesis, it may be necessary to remove the tori and eliminate undercuts that make denture construction difficult.

Definition of Maxillary Torus from the Wiki Medical Dictionary: Maxillary torus are defined as a bone growth in the middle of the palate, the lingual surface of the mandible in the premolar region, and the buccal aspect of both the maxilla and mandible.

What are Palatal Tori?

Palatal tori are not bone, but the bony growth that can occur on the inside of the lower jaw or the palate.

Excessive growth of bone in the upper palate is called  palate Tori. Torus Palatinus appears in the middle of the hard palate, or roof of your mouth.

Maxillary Tori (torus maxilla) is another meaning for palatal Tori, and is composed of densely mineralized bones usually devoid of medullary cavity. Maxillary Tori usually found bilaterally on both sides of the plate and are hard, smooth, bony growth.

Palate Tori Vs. Mandibular Tori

There are also lower tori located on the oral side of the lower jaw (called mandibular torus in Latin). Mandibular tori are bony swellings on the lingual surface of the mandible in the canine area. Indeed, mandibular tori can present itself even in the absence of the torus Palatinus, and that the lower tori commonly found bilaterally in the premolar region of the medial aspect of the mandible. Palatal tori are far more common, and one growth is called “Torus Palatinus.”

Causes of Palatal Tori

Palatal tori are bony growths on the hard palate that increase in size with age, hereditary. Causes of torus Palatinus are yet to be determined, but some scientists believe it could be due to genetics. Mandibular Tori is an anamoly that occurs in about 10% of the population, and is seen mainly in Asians, Native Americans, and Eskimos. Medical research has also shown that the growths are more common in women than in men. In men’s growth, however, the growth slows as one grows older, due to bone resorption.

Symptoms of Torus Maxilar / Palatal Tori

Potential problems with torus maxilla are that it is easier to injure the skin there, and harder to get dentures if necessary. This condition can cause difficulty in eating and drinking, which is the main symptom of the problem. In some cases, Tori Palatinus can combine to form a tumor-like growth, but in other cases, it occurs as a benign growth.

Does Palatal Torus Cause Tooth Staining/Discoloration? 

No, stained or discolored teeth are not considered a symptom of maxillary palatal torus, unless the palatal torus has grown so large that it is preventing good oral hygiene.  When a palatal torus is large enough, it might prevent you from brushing your teeth, which means that surgery is required to correct the torus.

Palate Tori Removal Procedure

mandibular tori after surgery
Tori Removal Surgery – stitches in gums

The emergence of Tori Palatinus can hinder placement of prostheses, and infection can spread to the bone or palate. If you have a torus there is no need to remove it unless they get too big or if they interfere with dentures or any other prosthesis. Most people do not need to remove them, only if they cause big problems with your oral health. Generally, the palatal Torus can be left alone as long as they do not interfere with anything.

Torus Palatinus requires surgical removal by maxillofacial surgeon under local or general anesthesia. If you need to remove it, Maxillary Tori reduction surgery reduces the size of the bony growths (exostosis) that make up the palate. Surgical anesthesia is needed for the procedure. Surgical removal of the palatal Tori includes a midpalatal cut and a reflection of the soft tissue. A dental surgeon may induce staining of the palatal torus, for increased visibility during surgery.

Osteogenic periosteum of the palate vault (midpalatal suture) would be extended from time to time, and it will lead to new tensions bone localized in the middle, as the epicenter of the force distribution, and thus removing the torus Palatinus.

Recovery after surgery to reduce maxillary Tori

Most patients do well with the removal of excessive bone growth, and with immediate dentures. Prognosis after surgery is generally excellent, with no known major complications. Possible surgical complications after maxillary Tori reduction can include bleeding, infection, swelling, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and poor healing. The recovery period for the maxillary Tori reduction is usually three to four weeks.

When to see a dentist or orthodontist

People usually do not know they have the Palatal tori growth until the dentist tells them. If this is a new growth, or is fast growing, please make an appointment with a general dentist. You need to see your dentist or doctor if you have something that looks like the growth of any kind, as it could be oral cancer. That should be something that your hygienist or dentist has noticed, and mentioned, if there is a problem. Palatal tori  growths are benign, but a firm diagnosis of dental Tori to rule out abnormal growth is needed.

Maxillary Torus In Children

Babies, toddlers and infants can be born with maxillary torus, but most commonly maxillary or palatal tori appears between 6-12 months of age. While maxillary tori are more common in older patients, younger patients (like children and babies) can develop maxillary tori due to rare genetic growth of the upper palate, or in association with cleft palate.

Maxillary Tori in Dogs

Dogs, man’s best friend, can also develop maxillary tori, though rarely. Like elderly humans, maxillary torus is more common in older dogs. Palatal tori is seen more commonly in small breeds, like toy breeds of dogs and poodles, rather than large dogs or working breeds. The cause of maxillary tori in dogs in unknown, but could be caused by genetic factors present from birth.