A Buccal Exostosis In Your Mouth: Is It A Serious Issue?

Posted on: 24 February 2021

The appearance of a lump in your mouth can be rather alarming, especially when you consider all the potential causes of the growth. Could it be the result of an infection or something even more serious? Naturally, any growth needs to be inspected, but when the lump is hard and slow-growing, your dentist might inform you that you've in fact developed a buccal exostosis. While the issue may have been diagnosed, what exactly is a buccal exostosis?

A Lump of Bone

Although it's an irregular growth, take comfort in the fact that a buccal exostosis is benign. It's not a tumor, nor is it likely to affect your quality of life. It's nothing more than a protrusion of bone in a roughly circular shape, which can develop on the upper or lower jaw bone. It generally appears on the side of your jaw, facing outwards against the lining of your cheek. Essentially, a buccal exostosis is a harmless lump of bone. Does anything need to be done about it?

It Can Generally Be Ignored

In many cases, the abnormality can be ignored. It's unlikely to grow to a size where it will cause physical discomfort, nor will it affect the health and general functionality of the rest of your teeth. Treatment is only recommended when the location of the growth can pose a few problems. But what sort of problems can the growth cause?

Reasons for Removal

Depending on the location of the buccal exostosis, it might be visible when you talk or smile. For this reason, many people opt for removal simply for cosmetic purposes. In other cases, the location of the growth can make oral hygiene difficult because the buccal exostosis can block access to some of your teeth, meaning it's rather complicated to clean these teeth properly. In rare cases, the growth can also cause mild, though lingering, discomfort. If it's deemed necessary, how is a buccal exostosis removed?

The Removal Process

The growth is simply cut out in a brief surgical procedure performed under local anaesthetic. An incision is made into the gingival tissue, exposing the buccal exostosis, which is then removed. You will need stitches in your mouth (which will typically be removed at a follow-up appointment), and there will be some temporary dietary restrictions while the site of the surgery heals. 

A buccal exostosis typically isn't serious, and the need for removal is determined on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more, contact a dentist.