We're starting a new blog series called "Does Your Mouth Look Like This?" First up: tori.
Basically, tori are hard, bony bumps in the mouth. This picture shows mandibular tori, meaning the bumps are on the floor of the mouth. Maxillary tori refer to the bone protrusions on the roof of the mouth.
Tori are harmless. They are outgrowths of bone and pretty common. About 20 percent of women have them, and about 10 percent of men. These tori pictured here are average-sized. In some cases, the tori grow so big that they interfere with normal speech. More commonly, they interfere with denture fittings because the dentures won't sit comfortably on the bumps. In these cases, the person may need to see an oral surgeon to have the tori removed.
It's not clear what causes tori to form. Some research suggests genetics play a part. Other research shows they may be a result of teeth grinding (bruxism) or stress. In the latter case, a night guard may help.
The bottom line is this: If your mouth looks like this, don't panic. Simply see your dentist regularly to monitor the growth of the tori and the overall health of your mouth. To find a dentist near you, call 1-800-32-SMILE.
Written by: Beth Gaddis
Reviewed by: Diaa Ghabbour, DMD, MHS
Reviewed by: Cindy Roark, DMD