What Is Ankylosis Of Teeth? Causes, Treatment Of Dental Ankylosis

The roots of the teeth are connected to the jaw by ligaments. Under normal conditions, the roots of the primary teeth (baby teeth) dissolve and make way for secondary or permanent teeth to emerge. Ankylosis of teeth is a condition where the root of the primary teeth fuses directly with the jaw bone. The condition is observed in children, at the time of emergence of the secondary teeth.

There are several causes that are associated with the condition. The treatment of the condition focuses on removal of the primary teeth, to make way for the secondary teeth to emerge.

All of us during our lifetime develop two different sets of teeth. The first set of teeth is the primary (or baby) teeth, which are temporary, and fall off to make way for the permanent (or secondary) teeth. Under normal condition, this replacement starts to take place after the age of five to seven years and is completed before puberty.

The roots of the tooth are connected to the jaw by ligaments. In case of ankylosis of teeth, the roots of the teeth are directly fused with the jaw bone due to absence of the ligament.

Some of the common symptoms associated with this condition include,

  • Tooth appears to be submerged and smaller than normal size.
  • The teeth in the upper and the lower jaw (or opposing tooth) tend to lose alignment.
  • Permanent tooth is blocked and can’t emerge naturally.

Causes Of Tooth Ankylosis

Ankylosis of the teeth is associated with a host of causative factors. Some of the more common and frequently observed causes of ankylosis include,

  • Inflammation or infection involving the root of the tooth and the jaw bone. This condition is often associated with gum disease and direct injury to the tooth.
  • Problem associated with normal bone metabolism is also one of the leading causes of ankylosis of tooth.
  • Congenital tendencies and hereditary factors play a very crucial role.
  • Any structural problem within the oral cavity, like pressure of the tongue or gaps between the membranes that surround the tooth can also lead to the development of this condition.

While ankylosis may be more apparent in children, the condition can affect individuals of any age, especially adults who have been exposed to trauma or injury.

Treatment For Dental Ankylosis

Treatment depends upon prompt and effective diagnosis of the condition. The diagnosis of the condition is based on simple observation and is supported by X rays of the oral cavity (which may be taken as a part of routine health examination). While there are special equipment available which can help determine level of ankylosis of teeth, most of these equipment are not very reliable.

The treatment begins once the condition is confirmed. Surgical intervention aimed at removal of the ankylosed tooth is often mandated, especially in children to allow the normal growth of secondary or permanent teeth. While the teeth are removed, there is also a need to ensure that the emerging teeth are not distorted and can emerge normally.

In order to allow the teeth to grow normally space maintainers are used. In some cases orthodontics are used to align the teeth and prevent them from becoming distorted.

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