What Is Tori?

toriHave you ever heard of tori? No, it is not the girl who lives next door or down the street. Well, it may be, but not in this case. In this case tori is a dental term. Tori is plural for torus. A torus is a slow-growing, harmless growth of bone. Tori vary in size. You may find it, or your dentist may notice a torus during a routine dental exam, particularly on x-rays.  Although tori cannot be prevented, it will ease your mind to know what they are.


In most cases tori are perfectly harmless. They do not cause pain or other issues with speaking or eating. In fact, you can have tori without even knowing it.  However, for those people who do notice a torus or tori, they are often afraid it is some type of oral cancer. Tori are not cancerous, nor do they become cancerous. They are normal benign bones covered with normal benign oral tissue, although a torus may require a biopsy if it grows larger or is in an unusual place, such as on only one side of the lower jaw.

Types of Tori

The type of torus depends on where it grows. You usually find tori in one of three different areas of the oral cavity:

  • Tori palatini: The name for tori that grow on the roof of your mouth.
  • Tori mandibulari or lingual tori: Tori that grown inside the lower jaw. Lingual tori usually appear on both sides of the lower jaw at the same time.
  • Buccal exostoses: Tori that grow on the cheek side of the upper molars.

Symptoms and Treatments

Tori that grow on the roof of your mouth (tori palatini) can become irritated by certain foods such as hard crusty bread, hot food such as pizza, and dental x-rays. Large tori palatini and lingual tori can interfere with speech. Tori also can interfere with dentures. Often there are no symptoms. However, if they interfere with daily life they can be removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They should also be removed before receiving dentures.

About Dr. Jeffrey Allen

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.