If you have excess bone in your jaw, next to your teeth, or along the roof of your mouth, it can present a variety of obstacles. Excess bone growth can be caused by several things, ranging from tooth clenching and grinding to injury or heredity.
Sometimes this excess bone growth is not severe and does not require removal in many cases. However, if the excess bone is causing problems with your bite, problem with eating or making it harder to clean your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and possible oral health diseases, you may need to have it removed.
At Virginia Oral Surgery Specialists in Vienna, VA, we understand that excess bone can be unsightly and uncomfortable. We will work to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals.
Excess Bone Growth
Excess bone growths, also known as exostosis or tori, are bony outgrowths that can form along the jawbone, near the teeth, or on the soft tissues along the roof of the mouth.
While typically not dangerous, excess bone can cause difficulty chewing or biting. In some cases, this excess bone can also cause various dental problems.
Some of these other symptoms include:
- Joint pain when opening or closing the mouth
- Tooth Decay
- Bone spurs
In more severe cases, Heterotopic Ossification (HO) can occur. This is when excess bone growth occurs in an area with no previous bone.
A HO formation or HO Lesions can cause serious problems, including:
- Nerve damage
- Difficulty speaking
- Problems with chewing or swallowing
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should see a doctor or oral surgeon as soon as possible.
Causes of Excess Bone Formation
Several circumstances can cause excessive bone growth.
Trauma or Injury
Trauma or injury to the jawbone, like a break or a bad fall, can cause the bone cells to grow back larger than before as the body tries to repair the damage.
Teeth grinding, also called Bruxism, is a common cause of excess bone tissue growth. When you grind your teeth, it puts pressure on the jawbone and can cause the bone to grow in response.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can lead to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This can result in the gums becoming inflamed. In addition, the buildup of bacteria in the plaque and tartar can irritate the gums and cause new bone to grow in response.
Some people are more likely to develop excess bone growth due to their genes. This is often the case with tori, which run in families.
Diagnosing Excess Bone Growth
Your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to diagnose excess bone growth during a regular check-up. First, they will feel for any lumps or bumps along the jawbone or roof of the mouth. An X-ray may also be taken to better look at the bone growth.
If anything abnormal is found, a biopsy may be scheduled. A biopsy involves retrieving a sample of the bone growth to be sent to a laboratory for testing.
In many cases, excess bone growth does not require treatment. If it is not causing any pain or problems with your bite, you may not need to do anything.
However, if you experience pain in the affected area, difficulty chewing, or if the excess bone is causing tooth decay, you may require surgical removal of the extra bone. Luckily, several treatment options are available, depending on your individual needs!
Bone Reduction and Removal
Several surgical procedure options can be used to reduce or remove the excess bone. The right type of surgery for you will depend on the location and severity of the extra bone growth.
Some of the most common excess bone removal procedures include curettage and osteotomy.
Curettage is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the removal of small amounts of bone with a curette or small, sharp instrument.
Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and reshaping bones. This type of surgery is often used to remove excess bone from the jawbone.