The tori of the mouth and ear: a review

Clin Anat. 2013 Nov;26(8):953-60. doi: 10.1002/ca.22264. Epub 2013 Aug 20.


There is a great deal of literature regarding the tori of the mouth and ear. However, there is controversy regarding the etiology and prevalence of each. The torus palatinus is generally agreed to be the most common oral exostosis and is more frequently found in females. The torus mandibularis is also quite common, is more prevalent in males, and occurs bilaterally in 80% of cases. Far less data have been presented regarding the torus maxillaries primarily due to the lack of consensus regarding its nomenclature and classification. These oral tori are thought to be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner with a relatively high penetrance; however, environmental and functional factors have been postulated that may account for a more complex etiology than simply genetics. The torus auditivus is rarely acknowledged in clinical papers and most data are found in anthropological journals. Although there is an abundance of literature that addresses these traits individually, there is a lack of research that collectively acknowledges these. Therefore, the aim of this study was to present a composite review of the tori with regards to their anatomical features, prevalence, etiology and clinical relevance.

Keywords: torus auditivus; torus mandibularis; torus maxillaris; torus palatinus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ear Canal / pathology*
  • Exostoses / pathology*
  • Facial Bones / pathology*
  • Humans