Torus palatinus (TP) is an exostosis of the hard palate. The biologic significance of TP is unknown. Our hypothesis was that the presence of a TP reflects the development of the maxilla. It has been proven that tooth agenesis is associated with small maxillary size. We investigated whether there is a relationship between maxillary third molar agenesis and the presence or absence of TP. The study was carried out on 253 Turkish patients. It showed a lower prevalence of third molar agenesis in female subjects with TP (P < 0.001). This study provides indirect evidence that development of the maxilla may be greater in female subjects with TP. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.