What are those Hard Bumps in my mouth?

I had a patient come in yesterday complaining of a pain in her mouth after devouring a very “big bag” of potato chips. I was curiously thinking, when she was explaining the event in the dental operatory, “how big of a bag of potato chips does one need to eat to warrant a visit to the dentist?”

Instantly upon inspection of her mouth the source of pain was revealed, a cut tori. Apparently, the sharp potato chips shred the thin fragile  tissue which lay over her mandibular tori.  I reassured her that she did not need to give up potato chips, but to eat less of them maybe with a bit more caution in the future.

Twenty percent of the population will have tori. The hard bumps on the sides of the lower jaw are called Mandibular Tori. Tori can also be found on the hard palate area of the upper jaw; they are called Maxillary Tori.

Mandibular Tori
Mandibular Tori
Maxillary Tori
Maxillary Tori

Tori are bony growths that out crop from the underlying jaws. They are NOT the manifestation of a cancerous growth. They are more common in females than males. Some tori may be small  and pimple-like, while  others are huge and uncomfortable because the thin overlying gum tissue tends to tear upon sharp crusty foods.

They can cause pain when the gum tissue on them is gouged for those who are unlucky enough to have a potato chip addiction.

Tori can begin to form in your early twenties and are believed to be  manifestations  of  jaw clenching. The clenching action stimulates bone formation of the underlying jaws. They continue to expand and with time can be very problematic for a few where quality of life issues arise.

Treatment is none, unless you want recreational surgery. An oral surgeon will remove them with trepidation. The surgery and recovery can suck.

I would much rather give up potato chips than get tori removal surgery…….


Dr. Emilio & Associates,  Always Accepts  New Patients. He especially exceeds at treating same day emergencies patients suffering from tooth ache pains.

His goal is to keep his patients’ Teeth and Gums Healthy For Life.

Feel Free to appoint a Consultation with the Doctor. Open Six Days A Week

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