If you have all of your teeth, an enlarged tuberosity
usually is not a problem. However, if you lose your upper
teeth and need a denture, an enlarged tuberosity may
hang down beyond the rest of your upper jaw, which
makes it difficult for a denture to fit properly. The upper
denture stays in place because it makes a seal with your
jaw and the roof of your mouth (palate). An enlarged
tuberosity can make this seal difficult to achieve.
Tuberosity reductions are not as common today because
dental implants are becoming more popular and as fewer
people lose all their teeth and need upper dentures.
However, some people with teeth and some who are
receiving implants in their upper jaw may also need this
procedure. If the tuberosity is enlarged, it can interfere
with the way the teeth and jaws come together
(occlusion). A tuberosity reduction can fix the problem.
An Oral Surgeon usually performs a tuberosity reduction,
in coordination with a general dentist or a dentures
In some people, the sinus cavity (antrum) extends into
the tuberosity. The Oral Surgeon needs to know where
your sinus cavity is in relation to the tuberosity, so you
may need X-rays before the procedure.
Your dentist / prosthodontist may make a plastic mold of
your jaw to show the Oral Surgeon how much bone +/-
soft tissues need to be removed. To make the mold,
your dentist will take an impression of your jaw, make a
plaster cast and grind down the tuberosity areas of the
cast to the proper level.
The mold fits over your gums like a denture. During the
procedure, the Oral Surgeon will test the mold in your
mouth to make sure enough bone and tissue have been
removed. In most people, only the bulbous soft tissue
needs to be trimmed and removed.
|Photo of the Roof of the Mouth (palate) showing enlarged
The tuberosity is numbed up with local anæsthesia; if you are nervous
or anxious, sedation in conjunction with the local anæsthesia, can be
The oral surgeon will remove the extra gum tissue from the tuberosity,
and, in some cases, trim down the bone underneath. If a mold has
been made, it will be tested in your mouth.
Once the oral surgeon has removed enough gum tissue +/- bone, the
oral surgeon will stitch the operation site closed. The procedure
usually takes less than an hour.
You will be advised as to what pain-killers to take; also, you may be
prescribed antibiotics, if though clinically appropriate. Post-operative
instructions will be given. The stitches fall out 2 - 3 weeks post-
You will have some swelling in the area for the first few days. Don't
wear dentures that were made before your surgery, unless your
dentist made specifically for you to use after the procedure. Some
people need to wear an ‘immediate denture’ continuously for 1 - 2
weeks after the surgery.
Your surgeon will tell you when and for how long the denture may be
removed. After two to three months, the ‘immediate denture’ may
need to be relined / replaced to improve the fit because the tissues
are likely to shrink as they heal.
After a couple of months, the said dentures need to be relined or
changed to fit better because the tissues get smaller as they heal.
If you did not have an immediate denture made, your dentist /
prosthodontist can start making a denture for you 4 - 8 weeks post-
All surgical procedures carry risks of excess bleeding and infection.
However, these are very rare in tuberosity reduction.
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What Is the Tuberosity?
A tuberosity is a rounded bony protrusion behind your last
molar in the upper jaw. It is covered by your gum.
A tuberosity reduction makes the tuberosity less
prominent / smaller.
|Last Updated 9th November 2010