Exostosis – What Is This Bony Growth In My Mouth?


If you look in your mouth and you see boney growths beneath your gums on your upper or lower jaw, you may be asking yourself “What are these things? Are they dangerous? What’s causing them to form and why are they getting bigger?” These growths may be tori (also called “exostosis”).

This is what a torus (a single instance of tori) looks like:

Close-up image of bony growth beneath the gum tissue of the lower jaw. Preoperative image.

Tori can be caused by a variety of things, but one of the largest causes is a bad bite, where the teeth come together in a way that puts the jaw joint in an uncomfortable, torqued position, which causes TMJ disorder. In TMJ patients, the temporomandibular joint (the jaw joint) does its best to correct the bad bite by trying to force the teeth to come into better alignment. The pressure from the jaw joint’s efforts causes a response in the bone in the jaw. The jaw creates more bone material to support the teeth that are experiencing the heightened amounts of force. The bone material accumulates in these tori.

Many patients who have tori have these tori surgically removed, only to see them return. The tori frequently return because the root cause has not been addressed: the bad bite.

If you have similar bony growths on your jaws, come see Dr. Berry for a TMJ consultation. He will evaluate your bite to see if you suffer from malocclusion and TMJ disorder. If so, he will present you with options for TMJ treatment. Contact our office today!

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Kevin Berry, DDS
TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center of Colorado
1660 S Albion St
10th Floor, Suite 1008
Denver, CO, 80222
303-800-7007
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