Torus palatinus

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kiran Singh, M.D. [2]


Torus palatinus
This is an example of palatal torus.
ICD-10 K10.0

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Torus palatinus (pl. palatal tori) is a bony growth on the palate. Palatal tori are usually present on the midline of the hard palate.[1] Most palatal tori are less than 2 cm in diameter, but their size can change throughout life.

The prevalence of palatal tori ranges from 9% - 60% and are more common than bony growths occurring on the mandible, known as torus mandibularis. Palatal tori are more common in Asian and Inuit populations, and twice more common in females. In the United States, the prevalence is 20% - 35% of the population with similar findings between blacks and whites.

Although some research suggest palatal tori to be an autosomal dominant trait, it is generally believed that palatal tori are caused by several factors.[1] They are more common in early adult life and can increase in size. In some older people, the size of the tori may decrease due to bone resorption. Consequently, it is believed that mandibular tori are the result of local stresses and not solely on genetic influences.

Sometimes, the tori are categorized by their appearance.[1] Arising as a broad base and a smooth surface, flat tori are located on the midline of the palate and extend symmetrically to either side. Spindle tori have a ridge located at their midline. Nodular tori have multiple bony growths that each have their own base. Lobular tori have multiple bony growths with a common base.

Palatal tori are usually a clinical finding with no treatment necessary.[2] It is possible for ulcers to form on the area of the tori due to repeated trauma. Also, the tori may complicate the fabrication of dentures. If removal of the tori is needed, surgery can be done to reduce the amount of bone present.


Physical Examination

Oral cavity

Differential diagnosis

Torus palatinus must be differentiated from other mouth lesions such as oral candidiasis and aphthous ulcer

Disease Presentation Risk Factors Diagnosis Affected Organ Systems Important features Picture
Diseases predominantly affecting the oral cavity
Oral Candidiasis
  • Denture users
  • As a side effect of medication, most commonly having taken antibiotics. Inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of lung conditions (e.g, asthma or COPD) may also result in oral candidiasis which may be reduced by regularly rinsing the mouth with water after taking the medication.
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Confirmatory tests rarely needed
Localized candidiasis

Invasive candidasis

Tongue infected with oral candidiasis - By James Heilman, MD - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=11717223.jpg
Herpes simplex oral lesions
  • Stress
  • Recent URTI
  • Female sex
  • The symptoms of primary HSV infection generally resolve within two weeks
Oral herpes simplex infection - By James Heilman, MD - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=19051042.jpg
Aphthous ulcers
  • Painful, red spot or bump that develops into an open ulcer
  • Physical examination
  • Diagnosis of exclusion
  • Oral cavity
  • Self-limiting , Pain decreases in 7 to 10 days, with complete healing in 1 to 3 weeks
By Ebarruda - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=7903358
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma - By Luca Pastore, Maria Luisa Fiorella, Raffaele Fiorella, Lorenzo Lo Muzio -, CC BY 2.5,
  • Vulvar lesions occur independent of oral lesions
Leukoplakia - By Aitor III - Own work, Public Domain,
Oral melanoma - By Emmanouil K Symvoulakis, Dionysios E Kyrmizakis, Emmanouil I Drivas, Anastassios V Koutsopoulos, Stylianos G Malandrakis, Charalambos E Skoulakis and John G Bizakis - Symvoulakis et al. Head & Face Medicine 2006 2:7 doi:10.1186/1746-160X-2-7 (Open Access), [1], CC BY-SA 2.0,
Fordyce spots
Fordyce spots - Por Perene - Obra do próprio, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Burning mouth syndrome
Torus palatinus
Torus palatinus - By Photo taken by dozenist, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Diseases involving oral cavity and other organ systems
Behcet's disease
Crohn's disease
Coxsackie virus
  • Symptomatic treatment
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
Chicken pox
Chickenpox - By James Heilman, MD - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
  • Unvaccinated individuals[7][8]
  • Crowded and/or unsanitary conditions
  • Traveling to less developed and developing countries
  • Immunocompromized
  • Winter and spring seasons
  • Born after 1956 and never fully vaccinated
  • Health care workers


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Neville, B.W., D. Damm, C. Allen, J. Bouquot. Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology. Second edition. 2002. Page 20. ISBN 0-7216-9003-3.
  2. Tori Mandibular, Maxillary, and Palatal. Study guide for Oral Pathology students at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry.
  3. "Dermatology Atlas".
  4. Ann M. Gillenwater, Nadarajah Vigneswaran, Hanadi Fatani, Pierre Saintigny & Adel K. El-Naggar (2013). "Proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL): a review of an elusive pathologic entity!". Advances in anatomic pathology. 20 (6): 416–423. doi:10.1097/PAP.0b013e3182a92df1. PMID 24113312. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  5. Andrès E, Zimmer J, Affenberger S, Federici L, Alt M, Maloisel F. (2006). "Idiosyncratic drug-induced agranulocytosis: Update of an old disorder". Eur J Intern Med. 17 (8): 529–35. Text "pmid 17142169" ignored (help)
  6. title="By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons" href=""
  7. Feikin DR, Lezotte DC, Hamman RF, Salmon DA, Chen RT, Hoffman RE (2000). "Individual and community risks of measles and pertussis associated with personal exemptions to immunization". JAMA. 284 (24): 3145–50. PMID 11135778.
  8. Ratnam S, West R, Gadag V, Williams B, Oates E (1996). "Immunity against measles in school-aged children: implications for measles revaccination strategies". Can J Public Health. 87 (6): 407–10. PMID 9009400.

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