What Causes Bony Growths in the Mouth?

Q: What Causes Extra Bony Growths By the Lower Gum/Jaw? Are these growths in my mouth Normal?

Answer: Yes, it is normal. Bilateral bone growths in the mouth are known as tori, also called Exostosis. 

These are benign bone growths. They can form lumps on the roof of your mouth, on your palate, or along your lower jaw by your teeth. In this Facial Defect, there is excess bone of the upper jaw, the face appears long, the chin is recessed and the nose large in the profile view. 

If it worries you, next time you see your dentist for a cleaning ask for a simple butterfly xray of that ridge. If he/she thinks that it may be of concern, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for a second opinion.

What Causes Mandibular Bone Growth and Development?

Torus is caused by air bubbles trapped in your temporal mandibular joint. It’s not dangerous and is often associated with bone growth. Many people have them and they are bone growths that can be on the inside of the mouth between the gums and the tongue or they can be on the outside between the gums and the cheeks.

If this is a new gum growth, however, please make an appointment with your general dentist. You must see your dentist or doctor if you have something that looks like an extra bone growth of any sort.

Bilateral Torus

Mandibular torii are bilateral in nature. If its only on one side, see a dentist asap and have an evaluation. You will never have bilateral malignant (cancer) lessions in your mouth. I know this because I work as a Dental Assistant.

Complications From Mandibular Tori

Present in about 40% of the population to some degree, they will never cause any problems unless they are so large that they would make it impossible to make a denture over. Others however find that when they need to wear a dental appliance the Tori can create a very difficult issue with designing a dental appliance that will work around the Tori.

Dentures will not work at all. In later years when your likely to have to wear a dental appliance they can then be a problem in that they can prevent the fit of an appliance or even prevent wearing one at all.

Mandibular Tori Removal

In some people, bone growths on the gums get very large, and others stay small, requiring no surgery. Know this however: An Oral surgeon can remove them quickly. the Tori is a bone growth issues and can be very easily removed, and once it’s gone it doesn’t come back.

Other Reasons for Bony Growths in the Mouth

  • It is just sort of a spur/bone growth or calcium deposit.
  • It could also be some kind of abscess or it could even be a tumor.
  • If it’s painful, it’s most likely a cyst. It can cause tooth loss, severe swelling and radiating pain.
  • Tooth impaction (the tooth root growing out instead of down into a normal position)
  • Wisdom tooth growth
  • It could be a sharp bone (if you’ve extracted a wisdom tooth recently)
  • It could be gingival recision. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth. These patients often present with ulcers on the lower lips, where they constantly bite themselves.

 Unfortunately, over the counter medications will do very little to help with an infection, tooth impaction, or the growth of new wisdom teeth.

Abscess Bone Growth

An abscessed tooth can cause a infection of pus and blood on the gum, that hardens and feels like a bony growth in the mouth. An infection such as an abscess MUST be treated by a physician, it will grow and cause separation of the muscle and skin around the tooth.

Abscesses are usually painful, unlike mandibular tori. If the pain is localized to a large portion of your jaw, you may have an infection, or some variety of nerve irritation. Infection from an abscess can also cause nerve irritation, but irritation can be caused by multiple things including something as simple as pressure caused by stress, bad posture, or an unfortunate movement of the jaw.

Wisdom Tooth Bone Growth

Bone growth could possibly be a wisdom tooth before it cuts. The thing is, I am not so sure that this is a tooth issue. It is common for people to develop dry sockets from wisdom tooth extraction, though.

Sometimes, wisdom tooth extraction creates a hard blood clot which feels like bone. After a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction.

The buildup of infected material can leach into the blood stream, and cause serious damage. This can lead to infection and severe pain, and will add about five to six days of not being able to eat very much of anything comfortably.

It was about a week until I could eat solid foods normally again when I got mine pulled, but it depends on how fast you heal. For the first couple of days, I just followed the doctors instructions, of rinsing with salt water, but it seemed like no amount of ionized water could get rid of the foul smell that began to emanate from socket, so I started chewing sugarless, minty gum.

Exostosis

Excess bone growth is called an exostosis and there can be more than one. A “tori” reshapes your bones, forming harmless lumps in your mouth. It’s not that uncommon my dentist told me. If you have pain, the bony growth is most likely not tori, but new wisdom teeth formation, or tooth abscess. If the pain is mostly external, take an noninflammatory such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen, and see your dentist for an expert opinion on the bony growth in your mouth.