"You have tori," said my dentist, "That's plural for torus"
And actually it wasn't my regular dentist, who was on vacation, but his associate, but she was wearing the nice white coat so I believed her.
Actually, I always called these things "two bumps in my mouth", on the upper jaw, on each side of my face, right above the teeth. I've been aware of them for years, primarily because the occasional wad of food was stuck up there, but when I thought of them, I thought they were natural, or at worst the result of getting old.
According to the dentist, they are bony growths in the mouth, often the result of braces or grinding teeth. I did have the former, along with a procedure that removed four of my teeth so my wisdoms could come in. I don't do the latter, but I do bite down on pens when I'm working - often shattering them. Sort of a "bite the bullet" thing when I'm engaged in literary surgery.
Tori are pretty harmless growths of bone, but they do explain something I've wondered about. Because they are there, they do tend to shove the sides of my mouth up a little, giving me apple cheeks and leaves me with an apparent smile when I'm not otherwise engaged.
So, it turns out there is a reason for that dumb grin on my face.
Loren Eiseley on Dunsany — and Tolkien - *Loren Eiseley on Dunsany — and Tolkien* So, back when I was working on my Dunsany dissertation I came across a reference to a piece that essayist and thin...
16 minutes ago