What the hell IS that??

DISCLAIMER: Mr. S has seen a doctor. She referred him to our dentist, and he has made an appointment. If the dentist can’t help, he’ll go back to the doctor and get a referral to an ENT. I’m NOT looking for medical advice, just ideas/experiences. Void where prohibited. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

So anyway, Mr. S has apparently had some kind of lumpy thing on the inside of his mouth, behind his lower front teeth, for several weeks. He showed it to me yesterday. Kind of two white hard things, with a low, rounded surface protruding just below the gum line. He says they don’t hurt, but they’re just there and they bug him.

Today he went to the doctor. Verdict: It’s a “Ross.” Which means she doesn’t know what the hell it is. All she could say was that it’s bony. No duh. As I said above, she told him to see the dentist, and then an ENT if the dentist is stumped too, and he plans to do that.

He doesn’t even know for sure how long this thing has been there. The only related things he could think of was the slight bony growth on the side of his foot, which the doc had told him he could get shaved off surgically if it ever really started to bother him. So far it hasn’t gotten to that point.

Have any of the Dopers ever encountered anything like this?

More teeth?

Seriously - I have heard of it before … somewhere …

Could they be supernumerary teeth, perhaps? I have some behind my upper front teeth, which I guess is the most common place for them to be.

It does kind of look like part of a tooth. But there’s no irritation or bloodiness or anything like that, like you might think if he was having some kind of gum problem. I have mild gingivitis myself, and it looks nothing like this. The gum around the area looks pink and healthy.

And he’s 50 years old, a little late for getting a new set of teeth! :wink:

I suppose they could be. But as he said, you’d think our dental hygienist would have noticed and mentioned them. She’s pretty thorough.

My dad’s got one. I think it’s called something…maybe something like a planet name. You can have them for a long time with no problem, and then they start pushing your teeth all askew. The standard process for removal is hammer and chisel. Or so my dad’s dentist says.

Maybe a saturn?

Fun fact: According to Guinness, the most sets of teeth recorded in an adult human is four. It’s probably not that in his case since I’m sure a dental x-ray would pick it up, but that’s cool nonetheless.

Well, after surfing around on romansperson suggestion of “supernumerary teeth,” I came across the term odontoma. Basically a toothy tumor. It seems to occur mostly in children, but I suppose the occasional adult shows up with them. Looks like they just take the thing out and all is well.

You’d think it would have shown up on an X-ray. I don’t know when his last dental X-ray was.

It’ll be very interesting to hear what the dentist has to say on Monday!


I have supernumary teeth, and your discription sounds very similar. A dental X-ray will be able to see them for what they are.
I had to have one removed when it broke through the skin, I have another that is just sitting there under the skin, it gets a little sore sometimes but isn’t a problem.

Pictures of mandibular tori. They are more common in men and may be associated with bruxism or other stresses on the mandible. If this is what they are, tori usually cause no problems unless the patient needs dentures. Many people have them for years before realizing their mouths are different than other’s, mainly because they are so slow growing. One day they look in the mirror and say, “OMG!”

Both the people in the above links need cleanings.

Hey, I’ve got one of those on the left side!
It doesn’t bother me, but now that all you people have brought it up I’m fussing with it…dam you.

Hm, those pictures look a lot like what Mr. S has, only his is on one side and the bony part is showing (no gum covering it).

My dad’s is on the side. He’s not crazy about the hammer and chisel solution, but he may have it done. It’s grown considerably in the last couple years. No dentures, though.

Are you sure it’s not an abcessed tooth?

It’s when a tooth rots below the gumline and it starts to pus but since there’s nowhere for it to drain it forms a hard pocket on the gumline.

The dentis should be able to take care of it.

see here

I have a mandibular torus and it has not grown for the past 6 years that I’ve had it, though he said that a trip to an oral surgeon would probably be in order if I ever wanted it removed… The dentist should be able to confirm what it is for Mr. S. and then he can go from there.

They’re mandibular tori . . . ding ding ding! Even the dentist’s assistant recognized them. Then the dentist came in, the assistant said “I think he’s got some mandibular tori,” and the dentist took a look and said “Yup.” Nothing needs to be done unless they start causing pain, etc.

Then when the dentist brought him out to the lobby and said what it was, I got to say, “Hah! I was right!” and explain that I had been researching The Things on Teh Interweb. You guys made me look so smart. :smiley:

Now you can all sleep at night.