Ankylosis of the teeth is a rare genetic disorder that can keep your child's teeth from growing in properly. In children with this condition, some or all of the teeth are fused to the jawbone. Here's what you need to know about this condition.
Aren't teeth supposed to be fused to the jawbone?
It's true that teeth are supposed to be firmly attached to the jawbone, but they aren't supposed to be fused to the bone. Normal teeth are attached to the jawbone by a strong cord called the periodontal ligament. Kids with ankylosis of the teeth don't have these periodontal ligaments; instead, they have bony structures that connect the teeth to the jawbone.
What are the signs of ankylosis of the teeth?
If your child has this condition, some or all of their teeth won't come in when they're supposed to. This condition can affect both the baby teeth and the adult teeth. You may notice that some of your child's baby teeth don't come in, or you may notice that when their baby teeth fall out, they aren't replaced by adult teeth. If this happens, ankylosis of the teeth is a possibility; your dentist can take X-rays to confirm your suspicions.
Do the teeth need to be extracted?
If the baby teeth are affected, extraction is usually recommended. Removing the fused teeth makes it possible for the adult teeth to grow in later. When the adult teeth are affected, dentists don't like to extract the teeth right away. They try to save the teeth by dislocating them from the jawbone and moving them into their proper positions. Sometimes, if the teeth aren't causing any problems, dentists will leave them alone. Your dentist will let you know which treatment is best for your child.
How common is it?
Ankylosis of the teeth is a rare condition. One study found that only 3.7% of children have it. Some children are more likely to get it than others, though. White children are much more likely to have this condition than children of other races. About 4.1% of white children have ankylosis of the teeth, compared with only 0.93% of black children.
if your child's teeth aren't developing on time, ankylosis of the teeth could be to blame. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to find out for sure. If your child does have this condition, your dentist can treat it.