The roof of the mouth is formed from a hard palate, consisting of various parts, and has rugae on its surface.
Sometimes a bony protrusion occurs on the surface of that mouth known as Torus Palatinus.
You will learn more about this protrusion in the following article including its symptoms, diagnosis, and causes.
What is Torus Palatinus?
Torus Palatinus is a term used for a bony growth formed on the roof of the mouth, which is the hard palate.
It can occur in different shapes such as spindle, nodular or flat and vary in size.It is located along the midline of the hard palate.
It is more common in females and occurs mostly in people who are Asian descendants. About 20 to 30 percent of the population is affected by torus palatinus.
It is noncancerous, harmless, and painless but sometimes such growths are caused due to underlying problems, so it is important to get it checked.
A hard palate is usually smooth but in some cases, a bumpy growth or a lump is felt on the roof of the mouth which is torus palatinus.
It may be present during the entire life of a person or may develop with the passage of the time. Its development usually begins during puberty and it can be felt in the middle age.
Sometimes due to resorption, it even decreases in size.Symptoms of torus palatinus include-
- You might feel hard lumps on the roof of your mouth. It can be one or more in number.
- The surface of the roof is bumpy but painless
- It becomes difficult to chewing, swallowing and even speaking properly if growths are large in size
- Food sometimes gets stuck around the protrusion
- There is difficulty is treatments that include fitting of dentures or other devices
Sometimes these symptoms are associated with other effects too such as fever, ulcers, pain or swelling, tooth decay, fever or growth present on other parts of the body. This may indicate some underlying problem.
It has not been confirmed yet what causes this growth to occur but researchers suspect the cause to be either hereditary or trauma.
It usually occurs in people above the age of 30.Some of the causes include-
– Teeth clenching or grinding: When you grind or clench your teeth often, the pressure is placed on the bony structures of the mouth causing an overgrowth. This theory, however, is not widely accepted.
– Diet: Studies conducted have shown that people who consume saltwater fishes in their diet in huge amounts might be at a risk for developing this growth because of the nutrients involved.
– Mouth shape and structure: Shape of the mouth, tooth crowding, and some other factors could also be responsible for determining its development.
– Bone density- studies have shown that people with torus palatinus usually have more bone density than others.
Torus palatinus can usually be diagnosed easily through the symptoms but if it is small and asymptomatic, it can be found out by your dentist during check up.
Since these growths are painless and harmless, they don’t normally require treatment or removal.
If there are cases of difficulty in chewing or swallowing, speech impediment and difficulty in fixing denture or any orthodontic device, there may be a need for its removal or modification.
Sometimes, it is so large in size that it gets scratched while eating hard foods which makes it necessary for it to be removed.
It is usually treated through surgery performed by a maxillofacial surgeon. The excess bone is removed following an incision along the midline. Then it is closed with sutures.
Recovery usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Prescribed medication should be taken on time.
Sometimes the growth is not normal and is caused due to the presence of-
– infection in the mouth
– dental abscess or cyst
– oral cancer (although, it is rare and occurs mostly on soft tissues)
– some trauma or injury due to hard food or dental equipment
Torus palatinus is not at all dangerous or painful but its presence can cause certain issues and cause difficulty to perform normal activities.
- There may be a feeling of discomfort in the mouth due to bumpy structure present. It prevents the resting of tongue comfortably in the mouth
- Food is likely to get stuck around these growths. It also leads to difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- It can result in bad breath and tooth decay when the food gets stuck. It obstructs the proper cleaning of teeth which can lead to poor oral hygienic conditions
- It can cause speech impediment, which means, inability to speak properly and fluently because you are unable to move tongue and mouth properly
- It can cause you to become self conscious or develop a fear that it is some sort of dangerous growth.
Complications are caused mostly when the growth is located near the teeth and is large in size.
When To See A Doctor?
It is important to take the opinion of a doctor related to any abnormal growth in the body.
If you have torus palatinus you can consult a doctor if you experience-
– pain in growth
– difficulty in talking, chewing or swallowing
– new growths on other parts of the body
– ulcers in oral cavity, swelling, tooth problems and other such conditions
These might indicate a root cause which has to be treated as soon as possible before it gets worse.
Torus palatini is growth along the midline of the hard palate of the mouth.
There is nothing to worry about it, unless you experience difficulty in performing normal activities or if it is associated with other symptoms.
Other symptoms might indicate the presence of an underlying problem such as cyst, abscess or even cancer.Treatment for it is surgery performed by a specialist.
Even though it is harmless, there are some complications that occur due to its presence.People lead normal lives with its present but if it causes discomfort, removal is suggested.