Everyone’s familiar with the geography of the inside of their mouths. But sometimes, you might wake up one day and brush your tongue against something unfamiliar: a hard, bony lump on your gum. What is it, and is it going to cause any harm?
In this post, we’ll explain what these hard lumps are, how they come about, and what you should do if you’ve just noticed one.
Explained: What Is That Hard Bony Lump On My Gum?
Human beings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and everyone’s bodies are different. Dental tori are just one of these bodily variations. “Tori” is the plural form of “torus,” which refers to a smooth, rounded protrusion of bone stemming from the surface of another bone. Protruding, prominent bone growth is known as exostosis. Finally, if it occurs inside the mouth, it is more specifically a buccal exostosis.
A bony lump on your gums, therefore, is a dental torus. In principle, they’re the same as bone spurs, except that because they’re rounded and smooth, they are largely painless and pose no harm. A layer of gum tissue almost always covers them.
Oral surgeons classify dental tori based on their location. A torus palatinus occurs on the palate, the roof of the mouth, while a torus mandibularis occurs in the lower jaw, along the surface closest to the tongue. Interestingly, mandibular tori more commonly occur in some Inuit and Asian populations, showing up in early adulthood. About 6 percent of Americans have mandibular tori, while about 20 percent have palatal tori. Because of this, many people might not realize anything is amiss.
But why does a dental torus develop, anyway?
Well, multiple factors are involved, including your sex, age, genetics, and diet. Sometimes, calcium-rich diets can contribute to torus formation. Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) can also stress the bones in the mouth and cause these growths to form.
Do I Need Treatment For Dental Tori?
You might feel uncomfortable with the presence of a hard bony lump in your gum. Fortunately, dental tori are not cancerous, nor are they tumors. Their growth is completely benign and should never cause any pain, discomfort, or sensitivity. Also, they should not interfere with the normal use of your mouth, such as eating, chewing, or speaking.
However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s best to seek the advice of a qualified dental professional:
- Excessive growth to the point that it interferes with normal daily activities
- Inflammation of the gum tissue covering the torus
- Injury or bleeding due to scraping while chewing or eating
- Pain or sensitivity in the area
- Interference with dental crowns, braces, implants, or dentures
- Any bothersome oral health problems.
If necessary, an oral surgeon can extract the growth from your mouth. Of course, this is a surgical procedure that will require recovery and post-operative care, so it’s important to weigh the benefits of removing it against the risks inherent to surgery.
Conclusion: It’s Harmless, But See A Dentist If You’re Concerned
Noticing a hard bony lump in your gum can be worrisome, but you shouldn’t worry about it unless it’s impeding normal use of your mouth or causing you discomfort. In that case, visiting a qualified dentist is the best option. They can examine the growth and monitor it for any concerning changes.
Dynamic Dental Solutions is your premier family dentistry option in Baytown, TX. We provide exceptional dental services and care for all patients of all ages. Because of this, we’re proud to be a complete solution to all of your dental concerns. So, if you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to give us a call at (281) 837-9090.