The roof of your mouth has two main sections, the hard palate and the soft palate. The hard palate is the hard section you feel when you press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, while the soft palate is the soft tissue in front of your uvula. Sometimes, the bone in your hard palate can become overgrown, which causes a noticeable bump in the roof of your mouth. Dentists call this bump torus palatinus; here's what you need to know about it.
Why does this bump develop?
Studies have linked torus palatinus to a few different possible causes. The condition runs in families and is thought to have a genetic link, though the specific gene or genes that are responsible haven't been identified yet. Other factors, like stress or trauma to the hard palate, have also been proposed as possible causes.
Do lots of people get them?
This condition is fairly common, and affects about 2.7% of adults. Some groups of people are more likely to develop torus palatinus than others. Women are more likely to develop it than men, and Asians are more likely to develop it than people of other races.
Is torus palatinus painful?
Many people with this condition aren't aware of it until their dentist diagnoses it, since torus palatinus doesn't usually cause any pain, and develops at a slow rate. If you have a large bump, it can cause inconveniences like tongue discomfort, difficulty chewing, and difficulty keeping dentures in place, as well as more serious problems like ulcers on the hard palate.
Can the bump be removed?
The bump can be surgically removed, but this treatment is usually reserved for severe cases. If you don't have any symptoms, your dentist will recommend leaving it in place. If your dentist recommends surgery, the bump will be removed with a quick, in-office laser procedure. Your dentist will numb the roof of your mouth with local anesthetic, and then cut the excess bone away with the heat of the laser. The resulting wound will be covered with tissue from other parts of your palate. When the procedure is done, you'll be sent home to recover, and will feel better in about a week.
Torus palatinus is a fairly common condition that causes the bone in the roof of your mouth to overgrow, causing a bump. This bump isn't usually a concern, but if it causes you any discomfort, see your dentist, like Dr. Caroline Krivuzoff, right away for treatment.