Video: Tori - Exostosis Removal Surgery
Enlarged Jawbone: Inside my mouth, I seem to have a very large jawbone on the bottom that abnormally extends both inward and outward beyond the regular gumline.
I am female and in my early 30's. I hadn't noticed this condition until my dentist pointed it out. I can't find a name for it. The dentist said the jawbone can be shaved down.
Since I was a child, I have rested my tongue on the roof of my mouth, which a previous dentist tried to correct with a "rake." I am now having difficulty swallowing and wonder if this is related.
Will the bone continue to grow? Is it a genetic condition, or could it signify other health problems? It is not particularly uncomfortable but it does stretch the gums thin. Help? ... Visitor from CA
What you are describing is a common occurrence. It is genetic and results in excess bone on the inside or outside of you lower jaw, or sometimes both as you have described.
It can also happen on the outside of the upper jaw or on the roof of your mouth. It is called "exostosis" or "tori", if you want the name of it. Normally it does not cause any problems and is not treated.
The exception to that is when someone is missing teeth and has to wear dentures, then it needs shaved down. Or if it becomes so large that a person has trouble cleaning their teeth because it goes above the level of the top of the tooth, which is rare.
I am a periodontist, and would say that the times these need removed or shaved is only in a very small minority of cases. I doubt that it is related to your swallowing problem.
It may or may not continue to grow; it's hard to predict. Usually your dentist will just monitor the size. It also is not usually related to any other health problems.
Sometimes it does make the gum look thin, but again, other than the fact that it can be traumatized and you may get a cut on the gum if you eat something sharp, like a chip, it doesn't cause any problems.
To sum up, I would not have it removed unless you have to wear dentures (which I would hope that is not the case if you are in your 30's!!), or if it is making it hard to clean your teeth.
If by chance they recommend removal, get a second opinion, and if they also recommend removal, have it done with a laser which is much less traumatic.
Marie C. Schweinebraten, DMD
2925 Premiere Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097
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