Torus Palatinus: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Pictures

What is Torus Palatinus; Definition?

Torus palatinus is a medical finding that is associated with abnormal growth at the top of mouth. Basically, Torus palatinus is defined as bony protrusion that arose on the midline at the roof of the mouth, an area also called as palate. Torus palatinus is usually occurred in humans and other mammalian organisms. The name Torus palatinus is derived from Latin language where “torus” mean lump, bull or to stand out and “palatinus” mean from the palate, so collectively as lump coming from the palate. Palate is an important part of mouth that split the nasal cavity from the oral cavity. As a result of Torus palatinus large bulbous solid outline develops at the palate region. This outgrowth is so firm and solid that it cannot be displaced by the finger as well.

What is the bone in the roof of your mouth? Torus palatinus

In most of the cases, the size of Torus palatinus is dynamic and can change all through the life (usually less than 2 cm in diameter). It has been observed that Torus Palatinus is generally emerge during the early phase or years of maturity (adulthood) and becomes shrink (due to e re-absorption of bones) at later stages. Generally, Torus palatinus has been suggested as a clinical finding (not a life threatening situation) and any specific treatment is not necessary. However, in some cases Torus palatinus become serious and required immediate medical attention. Torus palatinus can cause ulceration at the area of tori or palate and also cause complication during the fabrication of dentures. In severe cases, removal of Tori or bulbous solid lump is needed. Surgery is the best option to reduce the amount of bony protrusion from the palate.

The prevalence of Torus palatinus is comparatively high in women than the man and usually ranges between 9% to 60%. According to clinical studies Torus palatinus is more common in Asians, Native American and Inuit populations in comparison with other race. It has been reported that Torus palatinus is prevalent in approximately one-fourth to one-third of the total population (20% – 35%) in the United States itself. The exact cause or reason for development of Torus Palatinus is not known but several factors such as local stress and genetic traits are supposed to be the factors that influence its development.

What are the other names of Torus palatinus: Torus palatinus synonym?

The Torus palatinus is pronounced with several other names such as Palatal tori, Tori palatinus, and Palatinus torus, bump at the roof top and mass of the palate etc.

Who cause Torus palatinus: The causative agent?

Palatal tori, Tori palatinus, or Palatinus torus is basically outgrowth that emerges on the firm region of the palate. The outgrowth is increase in size with age and hereditary factors. Palatal torus is common in older people but they also develop in young once like babies and kids. The exact nature and cause of Torus palatinus is not known and it is believed that the bony outgrowths of Torus palatinus are develops mainly due to certain genetic or hereditary factors. The grounds behind the genetic cause of Torus palatinus is based on medical observation that suggested that Torus palatinus follow a prototype belongs to autosomal dominant inheritance. Autosomal dominant inheritance is a genetic phenomena in which a disease or trait is inherited from one generation to another depends on the type of chromosome affected (i.e. autosome or sex chromosome). It has been suggested that genetic inheritance of Torus palatinus from affected parents to their progeny is 50 %. The genetic phenomena also explain the limited occurrence of torus palatinus in certain ethnic groups. These facts strengthen the hypothesis that the cause of torus palatinus is genetic. However, there is no certain cause of the Torus palatinus has yet been established. Based on case history and literature studies the following are some common factors that supposed to be the probable cause of Torus palatinus.

  • Hereditary or Genetic factors (ethnic cause): As per the case history and literature database it has been suggested that torus palatinus is genetically transferred from parents to their offspring. The chance of a child being diagnosed with torus palatinus is usually 40-64% if one or both the parents are affected, while this percentage reduced to 5-8% when none of the parent carries the disease.

Is Torus Palatinus cancerous?

  • Blocked salivary glands: It has been reported that blocked salivary gland may also cause torus palatinus. In general, saliva flows from the glands to the oral cavity, but when ducts are blocked saliva accumulate and creates bump that became viable throughout the oral cavity (including palate or roof of the mouth).

Blocked salivary glands torus palatinus (how does torus palatinus form)

  • Superficial trauma: Any damage or injury (i.e. trauma) in any part or bones of the oral cavity can also cause Torus palatinus.

Tooth abrasion, Bruxation

  • Tooth abrasion, Bruxation (i.e. grinding of the teeth) and clenching(i.e. static contact of your upper and lower teeth) also cause Torus palatinus.
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency.

torus palatinus symptoms

  • Chewing excessively or forcefully.
  • Environmental factors.

Environmental factor of torus palatinus

  • Use of certain drugs such as phenytoin (an anticonvulsant medication used to manage certain types of seizures).

Is Torus palatinus contagious?

No, the Torus palatinus is not contagious. It is caused by a certain factors that are genetic, physical or environmental. It is exactly not a disease rather a clinical manifestation that is not infectious in nature. Usually the Torus palatine is hereditary or ethnic, which is restricted to certain groups and not in all population.

What are the common signs and symptoms of Torus palatinus?

Generally Torus palatinus is not considered as a disease rather it is an abnormal anatomical condition in which tissue around and on the palate become bony.  The growth of Torus palatinus is very slow but when noticed need immediate attention for its management. The following are some common sign and symptoms of Torus Palatinus.

Torus palatinus (pl. tori palatinus) [palatinus torus (pl. palatal tori) in English] is a bony protrusion on the palate sign and symptoms of Torus Palatinus is torus palatinus cancerous how common is torus palatinus sore torus palatinus images

  1. There is no specific sign and symptoms of torus palatinus except patients have an unusual hard growth in roof top or palate region (usually a diameter of two centimeters).
  2. The growth can be enlarged in size from a small nodule to a big colossal bump.
  3. Usually the growth is very slow and takes long times to be flat or knob-shaped spindles.
  4. These growths are composed of boney tissues and are enclosed by pink, rebounding, solid tissue of palate.
  5. Sometimes, the multiple tiny outgrowth unite together to form a large bump that looks like a tumor. However, this singular outgrowth is non cancerous or benign and does not cause any pain. Occasionally, when Torus palatinus grows larger it can cause irritation in your mouth.
  6. One of the major problems associated with Torus palatinus is difficulties in swallowing food and drinking water.
  7. Torus palatinus may also damage to surrounding tissues of oral cavity and also hinder with the dentures, when needed.
  8. Sometimes, Torus palatinus may also causes infection that usually spread to the other region of oral cavity including palate or bone itself. In such cases, ulcerations and pain are some common symptoms frequently experienced by the individuals.
  9. In babies appearance of maxillary torus has been reported by birth, but torus palatinus usually appear at age of 6 to 12 months.

How to diagnose Torus palatinus: Torus palatinus diagnosis?

The signs and symptoms of Torus palatinus consist of the appearance of bony outgrowth at the middle region of palate. Therefore, the diagnosis of Torus palatinus is usually based on clinical observations i.e. appearance of distinctive massive tissue outgrowth. The diagnosis of torus palatinus is based mainly on patient interview, observation, examination, and then interpretation by oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Occasionally, laboratory testing or biopsy may be suggested.

torus palatinus removal recovery

What are the common ways to treat Torus palatinus: Torus palatinus treatments?

Oral exostosis such as Torus Palatinus is not a life threatening condition and therefore does not required any specific treatment. The bony tissues are usually grow very slowly and made up of either spongy tissue or cancellous bone of variable thickness. In this stage, torus palatinus does not create any inconvenience and no medical treatment is required. However, when outgrowths become too large that can create irritation, prevent brushing of teeth, create problems in eating and drinking and in wearing and constructing dentures, medical treatment is required. Apart from this, enlarged tori may also persistently traumatize the area during speech or mastication. The only way to treat Torus palatinus is the surgical removal or correction by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Removal or correction of Torus palatinus offers a solution in the placement of dentures (dental prosthesis).

Torus palatinus surgery

The surgical removal or surgical correction of Torus palatinus is usually performed under general or local anaesthesia. The outgrowth was marked by stain (to clear the visibility) and the area was incised to expose the underlying bony tissue. Following an incision, the force was applied to centre of the bone by expanding the midpalatal suture. As a result the abnormal massive outgrowth is removed. The postoperative problems such as bleeding, inflammation and infection were controlled using appropriate pain killer and antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications. The prognosis of Torus palatinus is extremely good and complete recovery is achieved usually with in 3-4 weeks.

treatment of Torus palatinus

What are the different types of Torus palatinus?

Torus palatinus does not have categories into any specific subtypes. Usually based on the appearance or morphology of massive boney structures torus palatinus is classified into different subtypes. Following are some common types of torus palatinus.

Flat tori or torus palatinus: As suggested by name this type of Torus palatinus have a flat appearance. This type of torus palatinus basically originates from the midline of palate and has a broad and smooth base. Once they appear they started to broaden in size by expanding symmetrically to both side.

  1. Spindle tori or torus palatinus: This type of torus the outgrowth is usually appeared as slender shaped rod, which furnished with tapered ends. The spindle tori are appeared as ridge located at midline.
  2. Nodular tori or Torus palatinus: These tori are looks alike as small nodules and have round nodules like multiple structures or outgrowths. Each nodule has their own base and at severe cases multiple nodules becomes associated with each other and makes a large massive nodular outgrowth.
  3. Lobular tori or torus palatinus. This type of torus palatinus have lobe like structures that shares a common base and arises from the palate midline.

 Facts about the Prevalence of Torus palatinus

Some common facts about the prevalence or occurrence of Torus palatinus are as follows.

  1. The first and foremost thing is the relative occurrence of Torus palatinus and torus mandibularis. It has been observed that torus mandibularis is less common among population (6-40 %) in comparison to torus palatinus (20%).
  2. The sex of person also affects the occurrence or prevalence of torus palatinus. It has been observed that Torus palatinus is more common among the females in comparison to male population.
  3. Literature studies have suggested that no significant difference in the presence of tori with respect to age. However, it usually appeared after teenage years and generally reported among young adults (11-30 years of age).
  4. In kids, it usually appeared between the ages of 5-15. However, in most of cases it reported after an age of 10.
  5. Mainly prevalent among Asians, Mongols, Eskimos, and Native Americans ethnic groups.

Does Torus palatinus ever really go away by itself?

There are no specific reports about the facts. Torus palatinus is an anatomical variance that does not affect everyone. Only in some cases it grows large enough to cause inconvenience in eating and drinking. Usually torus palatinus grow very slowly and does not cause any problem if it exists in the palate. Majority of cases it will either stay as such or heal with time. Problem arises only when the outgrowth become too enlarge.

What is exostosis?

Exostosis or  exostoses is a medical term that usually define the formation of new bone on exterior of a previous bone.

what is exostosis in the mouth what is exostosis of the foot

What Causes Bony Growths in the Mouth Buccal exostosis

Usually the formation of new bone on previously existed bone is very painful and its severity depends upon the size, shape, and location. Usually exostoses occur in ribs, ankles, knees, elbows, hips, shoulder and oral cavity. Common examples of intraoral exostoses are torus palatinus and torus mandibularis. Palatal exostoses (affecting the palatal maxilla) and buccal exostoses (affecting buccal area of the jaws) are some other less commonly occurred types of intraoral exostoses.

What is Torus Mandibularis or  mandibular tori?

Torus mandibularis, tori mandibulares or mandibular torus all term are referred to same clinical finding in which a bony growth is appeared in the area of lower jaw or jawbone (also known as mandible). Usually it appeared along the surface of lower jaw, an area close to the tongue.

Torus Mandibularis or  mandibular tori

It is an area designated above the location of the mylohyoid muscle’s attachment to the mandible. Mostly, Torus Mandibularis is bilateral in nature and grow on both the left and right sides. Clinical studies and case reports suggested that prevalence of mandibular tori varies between 5% – 40%.

Is torus palatinus and torus mandibularis same?

No. torus palatinus and torus mandibularis both are different clinical findings of intraoral exostoses. Torus palatinus (also known as TP) is a fixed massive boney outgrowth found primarily in the midline of the hard palate region of mouth. In contrast, torus mandibularis (also known as TM) is a bony protuberance situated in the lingual area of the lower jaw or mandible (predominantly at the canine and premolar part). Both torus palatinus and torus mandibularis are not pathologically significant, but they interfere with oral functions, oral movement and construction and utility of removable dentures. Besides the location both torus palatinus and torus mandibularis have several differences as well as similarities.

torus palatinus and torus mandibularis

Both torus palatinus and torus mandibularis have different prevalence, which varies according to sex and age. The torus palatinus is more prevalent then torus mandibularis (TP: 0.4% to 66.5%, while TM: 0.5% to 63.4%). Both torus palatinus and torus mandibularis are significant more prevalent in the Asian and Eskimo population. Torus palatinus is more prevalent among females while Torus mandibularis is more prevalent among males. The postulated cause of both torus palatinus and torus mandibularis are same and includes genetic factors, environmental factors, hyper function, and continuous growth.

Is Torus Palatinus cancerous?

There is some misconception about the Torus palatinus and oral cancer. The abnormal outgrowth of torus palatinus at the middle part of palate is somehow looks like a massive cancerous tissues. However, the massive outgrowths of Torus palatinus are benign or in other words non cancerous. They can develop at any time, and non pathological clinical findings that occasionally cause serious concern to people who mistake them as some form of oral cancer. Torus palatinus are boney outgrowth of hard tissues, whereas cancer is usually found in tongue, cheek and other soft tissues. Apart, from this cancer cause numbness, pain and consist lymph nodes, whereas Torus palatinus does not cause any pain, numbness and devoid of lymph nodes.

Is Torus Palatinus is cancerous

If you are suffering something that look alike torus palatinus it is recommended to visit dentist or oral surgeon to diagnose properly.

What is torus palatinus differential diagnosis?

A torus palatinus is usually defined as painless bony benign protuberance that arose from the hard palate. It has been observed that a small torus palatinus is usually present in almost 20% of the population without any symptoms. In most of cases the diagnosis incidental and occur during a routine dental check-up.

Differential diagnosis of Torus palatinus

In most of cases, treatment is usually conventional and surgical removal is preferred in case of disturbance of oral function, mastication disturbances, and prosthetic instability. However in some cases when the palatal lesion is clinically suspected, the most important he thing is differential diagnosis. Differential diagnosis of torus palatinus is usually performed to check the malignancy of the hard palate. Differential diagnosis of torus palatinus is achieved by histological examination of a sample of the tissue i.e. a biopsy.

What are the complications associated with the removal of torus palatinus from a person’s mouth?

The general complications associated with removal of Torus palatinus are nominal such as wound, bleeding, pain, inflammation, infection and oral nasal communication problems. These complications are not serious and usually take 3-4 week to completely recovery.

Can a torus palatinus be treated?

Yes, torus palatinus is not a serious life threatening condition and easily cureable. In most of cases it does not affect anything and patient does not require any kind of treatment. In some cases, a torus palatinus is become enlarge and creates problems such as difficulties in eating and drinking, irritation, ulceration, injury and difficult for a dentist to fit dentures. In these cases an easy way to treat the problem is the correction or removal of Torus palatinus by surgery.

torus palatinus pain relief

Will a person be prescribed antibiotics before a surgery to remove a torus palatinus?

Depending upon the status of torus palatinus and individual heal antibiotics may or may not be prescribed before a torus palatinus surgery. Based on the situation, a dentist or oral surgeon decide whether a patient needs to take antibiotic medicines or not before the surgery of torus palatinus.

Is there any specific feature that differentiates a torus palatinus from other lesions in the mouth?

There are several features that help to distinguish torus palatinus from other types of mouth lesions. Some of the common features of Torus palatinus are as follows.

  1. Torus palatinus is composed of thin layer of gum tissue that arises as bony protrusion from the middle part of palate.
  2. Another feature is that torus palatinus feel as hard as a bone and you cannot be squashed it like a soft tissue.
  3. Despite the torus palatinus, oral lesion such as cyst, neurofibroma, fibroma,or papilloma are usually appear as soft tissues and movable and easily compressed by force.

In true words, torus palatinus is not a disease, it is a clinical finding that does not cause any serious harm. In majority of patients there is no need for surgical removal of torus palatinus. Due to the lack of knowledge and awareness, torus palatinus sometimes mislead people to panic when they see or are diagnosed with the condition. Therefore, it is necessary to have complete information about the condition and if you found something that look like torus palatinus it is advisable to discuss the condition with healthcare experts.

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