Torus Palatinus


What is Torus Palatinus?

Palate refers to the roof of the mouth and Torus Palatinus (plural: tori) is a bony protrusion on the midline of the palate. The growth is hard, painful and sore. It is more common in Native Americans, Asians and Eskimos than other ethnic groups and among women rather than in men.

Torus Palatinus

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Characteristics of Torus Palatinus

The protrusion usually appears during early adulthood and gradually reduces in size as the bone gets re-absorbed with time. Classifying torus palatinus according to their appearance is possible. The hard mass may be flat, lobular, nodular or spindle-shaped. The lobular tori have a single base from which multiple bony growths emerge. There is a midline ridge on the spindle shape tori. The flat tori are present in the midline of the palate and they extend symmetrically on either side.

Causes of Torus Palatinus

  • Genetics: Genetics is the most common reason behind the development of this condition. Individuals whose parents have the protrusion are most likely to transfer this trait through their genes. Chances of transferring this feature are considerably lower in children who have only one parent with torus palatinus.
  • Deficiency: Adequate amounts of calcium and vitamins are essential for healthy functioning of the body. Calcium aids in strengthening the bones and teeth. On the other hand, vitamins, especially vitamin D is helpful in the absorption of calcium. Thus, deficiency in calcium and vitamins can cause torus palanitus.
  • Blocked Salivary Glands: Normally, salivary glands produce saliva that flows into the oral cavity. Block in the passage or the duct that allows the flow of saliva causes the saliva to accumulate in one place leading to the emergence of a bump anywhere within the oral cavity. The lumps may be bluish or pearly in color, soft and painless. This could also be a probable cause of torus palanitus.
  • Clenching and Bruxation: Certain habits like clenching the teeth tightly, grinding the teeth while sleeping or excessive chewing can injure the chewing muscles. The teeth could be in motion or static. These habits can result in torus palatinus.
    Torus Palatinus pictures

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  • Injury: Any trauma or sudden damage to the oral cavity or face can cause a strain on bones and muscles leading to the development of tori in the mouth.
  • Medication: Anticonvulsant medication like phenytoin that is given to an individual to treat and control seizures. Consumption of these medicines can also result in torus palanitus.

Symptoms of Torus Palatinus

  • Formation of a tumor-like growth
  • Difficulty in eating
  • Difficulty in drinking
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Protrusion has a slow growth rate
  • Growth measures about 2cms in diameter
  • Irritation in the mouth
  • Growth is pink in color
  • Healing is slow in case of damage to the protrusion
  • Painful in case of development of ulcers on the tori
  • Interference with the placement of dentures
  • Infections

How to Differentiate between Cancer and Tori?

CancerTorus Palatinus
Rare occurrenceCommon as compared to cancer
Red in colorPearly, pink or bluish
Asymmetrical in shapeGrowth extends symmetrically on either side of the midline
Causes enlargement of the lymph nodesthat are near the affected areaLymph nodes remain unaffected
Tingling sensation and numbness in the lower lip and tongueTingling sensation and numbness is not present

Diagnosis for Torus Palatinus

  • Thorough examination of the individual’s medical history to check for genetic causes of torus palatinus
  • Physical examination of the oral cavity
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Dental x-rays
  • Occlusal x-rays to check the roof of the mouth
  • Technician covers the patient’s body with a lead apron to protect it from the radiation
  • Digital radiography (Take pictures of the jawbones & teeth accurately and efficiently). Pregnant women are not allowed to undergo this kind of an x-ray as it involves the emission of some radiation that could affect the fetus.

Prevention

  • Relaxing: Excessive stress can lead to torus palatines. Hence people must try to keep calm and relax. Taking proper time to rest can also be beneficial.
  • Oral hygiene: People who do not maintain oral health are prone to developing tori in their oral cavity. Regular brushing of teeth, flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash can lower the chances.
  • Food: People must take care to cool their food before eating. Hot food can burn the inside of the mouth resulting in bumps, blisters and rashes inside the oral cavity. Individuals must also avoid the consumption of salty and acidic food.
  • Drinking: Dehydration is a common cause for the development of bumps inside the mouth. Alcohol also causes dehydration; hence excessive consumption of alcohol must be avoided to prevent any protrusion from forming inside the mouth.

Home Remedies for Torus Palatinus

  • Apply baking soda
  • Use of soft toothbrush
  • Chewing gum helps to produce more saliva, hydrate the mouth and lower the burning sensation
  • Application of honey lessens the burning sensation
  • Applying aloe-vera gel reduces the pain
  • Having cold milk and swishing it inside the mouth also helps in the treatment

When to Visit a Doctor?

It is advised to immediately visit a dentist and get a thorough check-up done if any of the symptoms associated with Torus Palatinus are observed.

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