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Should My Dental Tori Hurt When I Have Dental Treatment?

Should My Dental Tori Hurt When I Have Dental Tori?

You can see how it might be very difficult to place a dental xray adjacent to these lower dental tori!

Even this smaller, middle of the palate tori is prone to getting bumped during dental x-rays!

This information may be helpful to any patient with dental tori like the ones shown here.  By the way, these bony growths are completely normal and fairly common.

Melanie (not her real name) wrote to our office with these questions about her dental tori.  These are really common questions we are asked by patients all the time so I thought it might be helpful to post her questions and my response to her questions about dental Tori.

Melanie’s Letter:

Hi,  I wondered if you might be willing and/or able to answer a question regarding irritation and pain of lower tori?

I recently had to have an implant crown removed with a bur. The implant tooth is the no. 19.  The removal of the crown took about 20 minutes. During that time the dental assistant was pushing a mirror and suction wand against my tori very firmly.

This is the third day since the procedure and I am still having pain as the area is raw.  I have never experienced this amount of pain and I have had many implants and other dental work done.  I wondered if dentists are taught to be careful of causing pain in tori and what might have been done to prevent this happening?

I am a 71 year old female and I am used to the general discomfort of some dental procedures.  It just seems like when you have extensive tori, dental assistants and some dentists have no regard to being about irritating them.

I find x-rays painful at this office also as they have digital x-rays and they do not have a small appliance to use for the x-rays.

Thanks in advance for any information you might be able to give me,


Dr Gillis’ response:

Hi Melanie,

We have found that tori can be very tender when pushed on as the skin is often stretched very thin over the bone here, and there are many nerves.  Yes, dentists are taught to be very careful at all times when doing any dental treatment.  Some dentists are more gentle than others and work at this constantly as we do in our office.  It is up to the dentist to assure that their treatment assistants are also very careful during treatment to avoid the problems you are describing.  It is also true, like you mentioned, that there can be a small amount of unavoidable discomfort during dental treatment especially if the tongue is very active or the location of the treatment is difficult.

We have found two things to be very helpful in making sure that patients like you with dental tori are comfortable.  For x-rays we use a digital sensor which has smooth rounded edges.  This sensor can often be positioned for an x-ray with no discomfort when done carefully.  In cases of very large tori we have the ability to take x-rays extraorally with our digital Panorex machine so there is absolutely no contact with the tongue, palate, or tori anywhere.  Our patients with tori love this system.

You might be able to ask your dentist or a future dentist if they take digital x-rays.  These are actually much better quality and lower radiation than standard x-rays.  Digital x-rays should use a gentle, smooth sensor which is always placed in a patient’s mouth carefully.  Also ask if the dental office can take bitewing x-rays (these are the usual ones taken to see if there is decay between the teeth) extraorally as is done with a digital Panorex machine.  With this type of x-ray, the very front teeth close around a small tab during the x-ray – there is no sensor placed inside the mouth.

I hope this information is useful.  In the meantime, try rinsing with a very warm but comfortable solution of ½ cup water plus 1/4th teaspoon each of baking soda and salt.  You might also find it useful to avoid acidic foods and drinks like some juices and wines until the area has healed.

Yours for better –and more comfortable- dental health!

Julie M Gillis DDS AAACD

“Caring For and Enhancing Your Smile”

(970) 242-3635 office


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