An exostoses is just a general thickening of bone. A torus (tori-plural)
is a non-pathological outgrowth of bone. Some believe these exostoses are
genetically linked. We believe they are genetically linked only in that
the personalities of the parents could be inherited. We also believe that
the personality of an individual can be the result of being in the same
environmental situation as the parents.
We hypothesize that tori are the result of one of bone’s responses to
stresses on the teeth. An individual transmits his/her stresses to the teeth in
the form of clenching or squeezing of the teeth together (one directional
force) and bruxing or mashing of the teeth together (lateral motions put on the
teeth). We believe tori are the result of just one of the various responses the
body has to stress. The bone gets stimulated by the vibrations or ionization
within the bone to lay down more bone. It is the body’s response to try to
prevent the rocking of the teeth by laying down more bone to help stabilize or
support the teeth. Other responses to this force could be to flatten, chip,
break and loosen teeth or cause sensitivity. It could also cause recession of bone
We think that anthropologist will not find the size or numbers of tori
in prehistoric skulls when compared to tori found in the present population.
Tori are fairly common in our population today and can usually be seen
weekly, if not daily, in any dental practice in the USA today.
Torus can appear in three forms:
The torus palatinus appears in the midline of the
hard palate, or the roof of your mouth. The mandibuluar torus appears on the
lingual surface of the mandible—that is, the portion of the lower jaw facing
the tongue. The buccal exostosis appears on the facial surface of the alveolar
bone—the outward-facing side of the bone that forms the tooth sockets
surrounding the teeth. Tori found anywhere else in the mouth are usually
diagnosed as one of two conditions: an osteoma, a slowly growing benign tumor
made of bone tissue, or an exostosis, a trauma-induced overgrowth of bone
tissue. The bone proliferation must be specifically located in order to qualify
as a torus. It is difficult to differentiate an exostosis from an osteoma
unless the bony proliferation is associated with an osteoma-producing syndrome.
- torus palatinus,
- mandibular torus, and
- buccal exostosis.