Fordyce's spots, or Fordyce's granules, are caused by the entrapment of normally
functioning sebaceous glands during development of the embryo. These spots are
generally seen in the buccal mucosa in the retromolar area. There is no abnormality of
the thin epithelial covering. No inflammation is present. The granules are observed as
small, rounded elevations (maculopapules) of a yellowish-white color. They may occur
singly (isolated) or in clusters. There is no clinical significance associated with
Fordyce's spots. The granule is not harmful and, generally, no treatment is indicated.
In about one-fifth of the population, benign bony outgrowths called tori (figure
1-17) occur in the midline of the palate or on the lingual surfaces of the mandible in the
region of the cuspids and bicuspids. Tori are covered with relatively thin mucosa. The
names torus palatinus and torus mandibularis indicate the location of these benign
bulges of excess bone. Oral tori develop slowly and do not need to be removed unless
they interfere with speech, denture design, or are repeatedly irritated during normal
Figure 1-17. Oral tori.
Bilateral mandibular oral tori of varying sizes are frequently observed. These
are within a normal variation of bone growth and no pathologic significance is
associated with their presence.