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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids
Lump on hard palate of 3-month-old infant
WHAT WOULD CAUSE A HARD LUMP IN THE CENTER OF THE HARD PALATE ON A 3-MONTH OLD BABY? CAN CONTINUOUS PACIFIER USE CAUSE A CALLOUS? IT`S HARD LIKE THERE IS BONE UNDER IT; NOT WIGGLY LIKE A BLISTER. THERE ARE NO DISCOLORATIONS. THE REST OF THE MOUTH IS CLEAR OF THRUSH, AND THE PEDIATRICIAN DOESN`T KNOW WHAT IT IS. SHE IS REFERRING US TO A PEDIATRIC DENTIST IN TWO WEEKS TO GET X-RAYS. CAN A BABY TOOTH COME THROUGH THE ROOF OF THE MOUTH? WE NOTICED THE LUMP WHEN LOOKING FOR TOOTH BUDS BECAUSE THE BABY IS DROOLING AND CHEWING FINGERS. TOUCHING IT CAUSES A GAG REFLEX. THE BABY EATS AND SWALLOWS OKAY; OTHERWISE, NICE AND ROUND AND HEALTHY.
There is a common benign (harmless) bony bump that develops in the middle of the posterior (back part) of the hard palate in about 25% of the population. It is called a palatal torus, but normally these start developing a bit later in childhood. That would be more likely, however, than a tooth developing in this area, and it would be highly unlikely that it is related to pacifier use. It would be appropriate for the pediatric dentist to examine this lesion.
Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University