Dental ankylosis is a condition in which teeth fuse directly to the jaw bone. It’s extremely rare, but it can happen when baby teeth are erupting or certain types of injury. Typically, there is a ligament between tooth and bone that prevents dental ankylosis. When the ligament is gone or other factors are present, the tooth will fuse to the bone preventing an eruption. Your dentist can treat this condition and ensure your baby’s teeth emerge as expected.
Dental Ankylosis: What is It?
Ligaments are tissue that attach bone to bone. They’re a type of soft tissue, which is necessary so that your arms and legs move around. If the bone was attached directly to the bone, then you wouldn’t be able to move! That’s because your bones are in a constant state of growing. They can attach to things around it, including some forms of metal and other bone. When a tooth, which is a specialized type of bone, fuses to your jaw, the tooth cannot come out. In rare cases, the ligament attaching the tooth to bone can become eroded resulting in the tooth failing to come out on time.
The condition typically happens in young children, infants, and those who have sustained dental intrusion injuries where the tooth is driven deeper into the gum line.
Dental Ankylosis Must be Treated
Without getting too technical, dental ankylosis prevents adult teeth from coming in properly. This creates severe problems for your overall oral health. To put it simply, well-aligned teeth prevent a host of problems including gum disease. Teeth that are not well-aligned are more prone to plaque buildup because it’s easier for food to get stuck in there. Ankylosis makes this problem even worse. If left untreated, it can result in serious dental issues down the road.
Treatment for Ankylosis
Treatment for ankylosis involves the removal of the teeth that are fused to the bone. This allows the adult teeth to come in properly.
Generally, the problem can go undetected for a long time. It’s quite rare and dentists won’t necessarily be looking for it. It is often discovered during routine dental examinations or when a patient comes to the office complaining of a problem. Your dentist can remove the ankylosed teeth allowing the adult teeth to come in.
In some cases, the tooth that comes in won’t come in properly. In that case, the dentist may recommend surgery to reposition the tooth or braces when they provide some benefit.
Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist About Your Child’s Teeth
If you think your child’s teeth might not be coming in properly, a dental checkup may reveal why. Call Peak Family Dental Care in Flagstaff today to schedule a first appointment and learn more about how we can help your child grow up with one less thing to worry about.