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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

12 year boy has painless lumps under tongue.

04/22/2008

Question:

Hi there can you take a stab at this :)

A 12 year boy has painless lumps under his tongue. Exam shows bilateral symmetrical protuberances under the tonue that are 1 cm in diameter, nontender, smooth and bony. The color of the overlying mucosa is normal. How would you manage this and what do you think it is?

Thanks for your help.

Answer:

What you describe sounds like harmless growths or extensions of the lower jaw (mandible) called exostoses or tori. Although it is slightly unusual for these to develop in someone so young, they are quite common among adult patients and completely benign. Similar growths can occur on the upper jaw (maxilla) and the roof of the mouth (hard palate).

Although they may slowly enlarge, their growth is usually limited and a requirement for treatment (minor surgical removal) is rare.

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University