Can Torus Palatinus Be Painful?

Reviewed on 12/6/2022
Can Torus Palatinus Be Painful?
Torus palatinus is an extra growth of bone that develops at any age and may continue to grow over a person's lifetime.

Torus palatinus or palatal torus is a painless bone protrusion at the roof of the mouth (the hard palate). The mass can vary in size and appearance and develops in the center of the hard palate. 

Torus palatinus is a relatively common, painless, and benign condition. Despite torus palatinus growth, many people live healthily. However, if the growth causes you discomfort while talking or eating, surgical excision is an effective and simple treatment option.

What Causes Torus Palatinus?

Torus palatinus has a wide base and smooth surface and forms due to cortical bone development. The cause of this bone development is unknown. It could be multifaceted, and genetics and repeated superficial palatal injuries may lead to torus palatinus.

Common causes of torus palatinus

  • Genetics: Parents with torus palatinus have a 40 to 64 percent risk of having children with this disorder.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding and jaw clenching both stimulate the jawbone. Stimulation can result in bone growth.
  • Injury: The body may overproduce bones while repairing itself following an injury or trauma to the mouth.
  • Forceful mastication (chewing): A diet high in hard, rough, and sticky foods (such as hard pretzels and beef jerky) can cause bone growth in the same manner as bruxism does.
  • Dietary habits: Torus palatinus is more frequently experienced by individuals who eat a lot of seafood, such as people from Japan, Croatia, and Norway. Seafood is high in unsaturated fat and vitamin D. Both are crucial elements required for bone formation.
  • Gender and increased bone density: According to studies, torus palatinus is more common in women. Researchers observed that postmenopausal women have increased bone density that may lead to torus palatinus.

Because not all researchers agree on the causes of torus palatinus, these causes are still under debate.

How Do You Stop Torus Palatinus From Growing?

The rate of growth is not uniform and is determined by several factors. Torus palatinus will continue with age. Bruxism and the type of diet people consume may play a role in accelerated growth, but there is no clear cause.

Diagnosis of torus palatinus is mostly incidental. Some may report symptoms (the development of ulceration or pain in the torus area) or concerns about its growing size.

Is Torus Palatinus Genetic?

Researchers have not determined what causes torus palatinus. The most frequently recognized opinion is that this condition has a complex origin, with genetics and environmental factors playing major roles.

According to genetic theory, certain hereditary factors lead to the development of torus palatinus. An individual with torus palatinus is more likely to pass on the condition to their offspring. Torus palatinus is more frequent in some ethnicities and appears to run in their families.

Various theories suggest a deformity of the palatine shelves of the hard palate during fetal development causes one side to overlap the other in a probably autosomal-dominant condition. The force placed on the hard palate by this deformity causes greater activation of osteoblasts and subsequent bone deposition along the hard palate's midline. However, it has not always been feasible to demonstrate the autosomal dominant nature of its presentation.

Torus should be regarded as a dynamic phenomenon that responds to environmental and functional factors while interacting with genetic factors.

How Common is Torus Palatinus?

Torus palatinus, the most encountered form of hyperostosis, affects about 20 percent of the population. Numerous studies have reported significant ethnic variances. It affects roughly two times as many women as men and is more common in Native Americans, Eskimos, and Norwegians.

It is uncommon in children. It occurs through the interaction of genetic and environmental variables in young individuals younger than 30 years. In the United States, the prevalence of torus palatinus is in 20 to 35 percent of the population.

Why Does Torus Palatinus Just Appear?

Researchers are unsure of the precise cause of torus palatinus. Given that torus palatinus is multifactorial, it can manifest at any age.

Torus palatinus is an extra growth of bone that can develop at any age and may continue to develop over a person's lifetime. It usually starts during puberty, but it might not be apparent until middle age.

The torus palatinus stops growing as you age and, in some cases, may even shrink.

Does Torus Palatinus Need to Be Removed?

Although torus palatinus is not a medical problem, it can cause issues with orthodontic and prosthetic devices, as well as oral hygiene. There are several reasons why you might think about getting torus palatinus removed, including:

  • Dentures: If you need your existing teeth removed or are edentulous, your dentist will almost certainly advise you to get torus palatinus removed. Torus palatinus prevents any complete dentures from fitting properly and may cause extreme discomfort to your gum tissue if dentures rest on them.
  • Food impaction: Some growing torus palatinus may cause complications, such as food impaction. It can contribute to oral health problems, such as gingivitis, and possible periodontitis if not removed early on in life.

Other conditions that might require torus palatinus surgery include:

  • Impacting your speech
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Injury to the torus palatinus, causing infection
  • Having difficulty while using certain orthodontic devices
  • To maintain oral hygiene

If torus palatinus is getting unpleasant or causing discomfort, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options for your condition.

Should I Be Worried About Torus Palatinus?

Torus palatinus is common and safe. It may interfere with dentures or orthodontics in some circumstances. It might develop to a point that you may feel uncomfortable. In these circumstances, your dentist may advise you on treatment and removal to guarantee your comfort and function.

Torus palatinus is not a concern if it does not interfere with your everyday life or ability to eat, talk, or care for your dental health. Injury can happen to torus palatinus while eating. Because it does not have blood vessels, the healing process will take longer.

To avoid infection, clean the wound with mouthwash or a saline rinse and maintain proper oral hygiene.

Is Torus Palatinus Cancerous?

Torus palatinus is a benign growth that is neither malignant nor harmful. However, because serious medical diseases can cause similar growths, you must get your mouth checked by a specialist. Sores, thickening oral tissues, unexplained bleeding or numbness, difficulty swallowing, and a change in how your dentures fit are symptoms of oral cancer. If you are concerned about mouth cancer, consult your doctor about oral cancer screening.

Can a Dentist Remove Torus Palatinus?

Most dentists can remove torus palatinus. In some situations, your dentist may recommend you to an oral surgeon, who will schedule an appointment to inspect the lump and discuss treatment options with you.

Depending on the size of the growth, the dentist or oral surgeon may recommend the following treatment options:

  • Traditional surgery: Uses general anesthesia. An oral surgeon or a dentist stains the torus palatinus for easier vision and performs an incision. This incision enables tissue expansion and removal of your uncomfortable torus palatinus.
  • Laser removal: A very new method. Instead of a scalpel, the oral surgeon or a dentist uses a laser to make an incision to remove the growth.

Both methods of surgery are successful and have advantages. Traditional surgery is well-studied and has a high success rate.

In comparison to traditional surgery, laser removal has a lower risk of infection and introduces less vibration and hand pressure. Laser removal is more accurate and may cause minimal blood loss.

How Painful is It to Remove Torus Palatinus

The discomfort will be low because the procedure requires sedation. However, pain sensitivity varies among people. If the person is overly sensitive to pain, the doctor may prescribe pain relievers following surgery. Aside from discomfort, the risks associated with treatment are minimal.

Some risks include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia: Individuals who are unable to tolerate general anesthesia may not be suitable candidates for surgery.
  • Minor bleeding: The bleeding should stop within a day or two. Maintain oral hygiene as advised by your doctor.
  • Swelling: With any surgery, swelling is expected. Cold foods and beverages may typically help alleviate the swelling.

Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate pain and swelling. A brief course of prescription pain medication or antibiotics could be necessary for some to deal with pain and avoid infection.

Most people recover in three to four weeks. You must discuss any concerns with your dentist before surgery.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Torus Palatinus?

The average treatment cost to remove torus palatinus is roughly $600. The cost of your surgery will vary based on the treating surgeon and the complexity and type of procedure.

If torus palatinus is bigger, it may need more effort to remove. Most dental insurance may cover a percentage of your expenditures. Check with your insurer to be sure.

Can Torus Palatinus Grow Back After the Surgery?

Regrowth is rare and mostly observed in older people. Torus palatinus is benign and painless and, generally, does not require removal.

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Reviewed on 12/6/2022
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Torus palatinus.

The Torus Palatinus.

Palatal torus: etiology, clinical aspect, and therapeutic strategy.

Torus Palatinus: A Segregation Analysis.