Conditions,  Gums,  Procedures

Mandibular Tori: Removal, Symptoms, Causes, Surgery Treatment and Pictures

What Are Mandibular Tori?

Mandibular tori (alternative Latin name: torus mandibularis) are harmless bony growths along the inner side of the lower jaw or mandible, below the tongue. They usually present as bilateral (on both sides), symmetrical, and hard nodules or lumps, usually smooth and painless. These outgrowths are typically benign, meaning they are noncancerous and do not pose a significant threat to health. They can vary in size and shape and may occur as a single large torus or multiple smaller ones.
The exact cause of mandibular tori is still unclear, although several factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and certain oral behaviors, are believed to contribute to their formation.

If you have noticed these bony growths on the floor of your mouth just beneath the tongue it’s important to get educated and learn your options for treating this condition. You may have been born with them or developed them later in your life, but even in the second case do not panic, these are not harmful! Read our article and if you have any questions just ask them in the comments section below the article.

How Do I Know If I Have Mandibular Tori?

Mandibular tori are often asymptomatic, meaning they do not usually cause noticeable symptoms. As such, they can often go undetected until a routine dental examination or a dental procedure requiring X-rays. However, in some cases, they may become large enough to be felt with the tongue or seen upon opening the mouth wide. So, if you notice any kind of a bony lump or abnormal growth inside of your lower jaw you may want to consult your dentist for an examination and diagnosis. Other symptoms that may suggest you have this condition are ulcerations resulting from accidental irritation or biting or inability to properly fit a mouthguard. They may also cause discomfort when eating certain foods, speaking, or fitting dentures. In rare instances, they may also interfere with oral hygiene due to their prominence.

When Should I Consult My Dentist About Mandibular Tori?

It’s essential to consult your dentist if you suspect you have mandibular tori. If you encounter any symptoms like challenges with dental appliances or pain located in the lower jaw or mandible it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Although they are benign and typically don’t require treatment, they can sometimes cause complications or become uncomfortable. If you notice any changes in your mouth’s feel, such as unexplained lumps or bumps, or experience discomfort, it’s crucial to seek dental advice promptly. In case you have a history of Mandibular tori monitor any changes in their shape, color, size, or general appearance and consult your dentist if you notice any changes or if new growths emerge. The dentist will take X-rays and perform a physical examination in order to confirm the diagnosis. If your local dentist is unable to assist you with your condition you shall be referred to an oral surgeon specialized in treating these conditions.

Mandibular Tori Removal: Procedure, Recovery, and Potential Risks

The Procedure: What Should You Expect

Mandibular tori removal is a surgical procedure typically performed under local anesthesia. It is usually performed as an outpatient surgery, meaning you will not have to spend any extra time in the hospital or your dental clinic (unless you the surgery was with general anesthesia which may be necessary in some of the cases). During the surgery, a small incision is made in the oral mucosa (the lining of the mouth) over the torus. The torus is then cut away with specialized tools, and the area is smoothed. Finally, the incision is stitched closed to facilitate healing.

Post-Operative Recovery and Required Care

Post-operative care for tori removal involves rest, good oral hygiene, and a soft food diet until the area heals. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common after the procedure but should subside within a few days to a week. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to manage these symptoms. It is also crucial to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as these can delay healing and cause complications. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on oral care and pain management protocols right after the surgery. Please be aware that a full recovery may take up to several weeks, but only the first days will be unpleasant.

Mandibular Tori Removal Risks

Like any surgical procedure, tori removal carries some risks. Possible complications include infection, damage to nearby structures (like nerves or teeth), excessive bleeding, or difficulty opening the mouth (trismus). However, with careful surgical technique and diligent post-operative care, these risks can be significantly minimized.

Minimizing Complication Risks from Mandibular Tori Removal

To minimize the risk of complications, it’s essential to follow all pre-and post-operative instructions provided by your dental healthcare provider. This may include maintaining good oral hygiene, taking prescribed medications, avoiding strenuous activities, and attending all follow-up appointments. The list of possible risks involved in the surgery is as follows: bleeding, infection, local numbness, damage to oral structures in the area of surgery (this includes teeth, nerves, and gums), jaw stiffness and limited range of motion, possible scarring and complications related to anesthesia (this applies to both local and general types of anesthesia). Discuss all of these risks with our surgeon before the procedure to calm your mind and make right decisions.

What Causes Mandibular Tori?

The precise cause of mandibular tori is unknown. However, it is believed to be multifactorial, with genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors playing roles. Studies have found a higher prevalence of tori in people who grind their teeth (bruxism), suggesting that mechanical stress may contribute to their development. Additionally, there seems to be a familial component, as they occur more commonly in certain families, pointing towards a potential genetic predisposition. This condition is still being researched by scientists and we are yet to fully discover and understand the causes and mechanisms behind it. We will update this article if any new research is published.

Comprehensive list of Mandibular Tori causing factors:

  1. Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  2. Mouth anatomy type
  3. Higher bone density
  4. Vitamin deficiencies
  5. Genetics
  6. Age over 30 years old
  7. Geneder (more common in men)
  8. Trauma to the jaw
  9. Calcium-rich diet
  10. Fish consumption (especially raw or undercooked fish)
  11. Chewing on meat (dry, raw, or frozen)

Prevention, Management, and Prognosis of Mandibular Tori

As the exact cause of mandibular tori is unknown, specific preventative measures have not been identified. However, managing contributing factors such as bruxism may potentially reduce the likelihood of their development.
The prognosis for mandibular tori is generally good. They are benign growths and don’t evolve into malignancies. However, they can reappear in some cases, even after surgical removal, especially if contributing factors persist.
In terms of management, most cases of mandibular tori do not require any specific treatment unless they cause discomfort, affect oral function, or interfere with prosthodontic procedures like the fitting of dentures. For those that do need treatment, surgical removal is typically the go-to option.

In conclusion, while mandibular tori can be concerning when first discovered, understanding that they are generally harmless and easily treatable can provide reassurance. If you believe you might have mandibular tori or have been diagnosed with them, it’s essential to have regular dental check-ups and follow your dental healthcare provider’s advice on management and potential treatment. If you have any questions regarding this condition please post them in the comments section below and our staff will provide you assistance!

This article is still a work in progress and was last updated on May 24, 2023.

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