Jabo Ibehre and Gary Alexander scored the goals which earned Leyton Orient their second home win of the season.
Darren Garner hit the post for Torquay early on, before Orient's Ibehre opened the scoring on 25 minutes.
Andy Marriott saved after Ibehre's fine 29th-minute run, but Orient went two ahead four minutes after the break as Shane Tudor put Alexander clear.
Torquay substitute Liam Coleman set Jo Kuffour free to reduce arrears midway through the second half.
Leyton Orient: Garner, Lockwood, Mackie, Zakuani, Miller, Tudor (Barnard 90), Keith, Simpson, Easton, Alexander, Ibehre (Echanomi 86).
Subs Not Used: Carlisle, Morris, McMahon.
Booked: Miller, Alexander, Ibehre.
Goals: Ibehre 25, Alexander 50.
Torquay: Marriott, Hockley, Taylor, Hill, Sharp, Hewlett (Priso 77), Garner, Kuffour, Sow (Coleman 58), Constantine, Connell.
Subs Not Used: Skinner, Hancox, Flynn.
Booked: Hill, Hewlett, Garner, Hockley.
Goals: Kuffour 67.
Ref: D Deadman (Cambridgeshire).