Reviewed by  Dr. Jason Fluckiger, DMD

Have you noticed a bony lump or bump under your tongue? This growth could be a condition called mandibular torus, a common and usually harmless oral condition.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what mandibular tori are, the causes and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

Table of Contents

What Is Torus Mandibularis?

Torus mandibularis, also known as mandibular tori, is a bony benign growth that appears along the lower jaw in the mouth. These growths can vary in size and shape and are typically found on both sides of the lower jaw bone under the tongue.

Mandibular tori are relatively common, with studies showing that they affect 5-10% of the population. They tend to be more common the older you get and are more frequently seen in males than females.

These bony growths can occur in other parts of the mouth. If they are located on the roof of the mouth, they are called palatal tori or torus palatinus. They are known as buccal exostoses if they appear on the inside of the cheeks or lips. However, mandibular tori are the most common type and often go unnoticed.

Key Takeaway

Mandibular tori are benign bony growths on the inside of the lower jaw. Teeth grinding and clenching, genetics and mouth anatomy are factors that may increase your risk of developing them. They generally do not cause any problems, but if they become too large, they may require removal.

Symptoms and Causes

The exact cause of mandibular tori is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some studies suggest that they may be hereditary or linked to certain ethnicities.

Factors that may increase the risk of developing mandibular tori include:

  • tooth grinding and clenching
  • increased bone density
  • genetics
  • age
  • mouth anatomy
  • vitamin deficiencies

How Are They Diagnosed?

Your dentist can diagnose mandibular tori through a visual and physical examination. They may also take X-rays or recommend a CT scan to get a better view of the size and location of the growth. The standard treatment is a ‘watch and wait’ approach, as they do not pose any significant health risks.

Complications and Risks

Mandibular tori are typically harmless, but in some cases, they can cause complications such as:

  • Injury: Tori can be prone to injuries because of their projection and smooth structure. These injuries usually happen during everyday activities rather than accidents. When we bite into different textures of food, the force on the thin overlying gum tissue can cause discomfort or abrasion. Even brushing our teeth can continuously irritate the gums over the tori.
  • Infection: The shape of the tori can make it difficult to clean properly, leading to bacteria and food particles getting trapped between the teeth and the bony growth, resulting in gingivitis, infections or bad breath.
  • Difficulty with dentures: If you wear dentures, mandibular tori may cause discomfort or make it challenging for your dentist to fit them properly.

Surgical Removal

If the tori are causing discomfort or interfering with daily activities, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon to have them removed.

The surgery typically involves administering local anesthesia and sedation for comfort during the procedure. The surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue, remove the excess bone, and suture the incision back together.

The recovery period for this surgery can be one to four weeks, depending on the size and location of the growth. During this time, follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully. Take the prescribed medications, avoid spicy foods, hard or crunchy foods, and stick to soft foods during the healing phase.

How To Choose an Oral Surgeon

If you are experiencing discomfort or have decided to have your mandibular tori removed, it is important to choose a skilled and experienced oral surgeon.

Here are some things to look for when choosing an oral surgeon:

  • Board certification: Make sure the surgeon is board-certified and has experience performing mandibular tori removal surgery.
  • Referrals: Ask your dentist or friends and family for recommendations.
  • Online reviews: Check online reviews to see what other patients have to say about their experiences with the surgeon.

Take these factors into consideration when choosing an oral surgeon, as a successful surgery can have a significant impact on your overall oral health and quality of life.

AZ Max-Your Trusted Surgeons in Mesa, AZ

If you experience discomfort or have concerns about your mandibular tori, our team at AZ Max Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons is here to help. Our experienced oral surgeons are trained and equipped to perform safe and effective surgical removal of mandibular tori.

To book an appointment with us, call (480) 830-5866 or complete our online booking form. If you are a dentist, you can also refer your patients to us by filling out our referral form.


What can I expect if I have mandibular tori?

Mandibular tori are typically painless and do not require treatment unless they interfere with normal function or cause discomfort.

Can mandibular tori shrink?

No, they do not shrink on their own. If they are causing discomfort, surgical removal may be necessary.

Can mandibular tori grow back after you remove them?

Unfortunately, mandibular tori can grow back in some cases. You can reduce the likelihood of this happening by treating the underlying issues, such as grinding or clenching your teeth.