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What's that large bump or lump on my lower jaw?

What's that large bump or lump on my lower jaw? 

Many patients are often unaware of this benign process. Slowly over time a benign growth of bone, bump or lump, forms on the inside of the jaw. You first realize you have this common condition when you eat a hard bagel or object and you scratch or bruise the skin over the bone. Most are small but some can be very large.

Small benign growth of bone

                    Large Lingual Tori                                         Single Small Lingual Tori.

The following information was taken from Wikipedia:

Torus mandibularis (pl. tori mandibulares) (or mandibular torus (pl. mandibular tori) in English) is a bony growth in the mandiblealong the surface nearest to the tongue. Mandibular tori are usually present near the premolars and above the location of the mylohyoid muscle's attachment to the mandible.[1] In 90% of cases, there is a torus on both the left and right sides, making this finding an overwhelmingly bilateral condition.

The prevalence of mandibular tori ranges from 5% - 40%. It is less common than bony growths occurring on the palate, known as torus palatinus. Mandibular tori are more common in Asian and Inuit populations, and slightly more common in males.[2][3] In the United States, the prevalence is 7% - 10% of the population.

It is believed that mandibular tori are caused by several factors.[1] They are more common in early adult life and are associated withbruxism. The size of the tori may fluctuate throughout life, and in some cases the tori can be large enough to touch each other in the midline of mouth. Consequently, it is believed that mandibular tori are the result of local stresses and not solely on genetic influences.

Mandibular tori are usually a clinical finding with no treatment necessary. It is possible for ulcers to form on the area of the tori due to trauma. The tori may also complicate the fabrication of dentures. If removal of the tori is needed, surgery can be done to reduce the amount of bone, but the tori may reform in cases where nearby teeth still receive local stresses.

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Dr. Marc Gottlieb is one of Long Island's leading dental practicioners, specializing in helping those who feel anxiety or apprehension when visiting the dentist. He can be reached at marc@anxietyfreedental.com