Orthodontics in Kyle: All About Dental Ankylosis

dental ankylosis

At Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle, we see teeth in every color, shape, and size! There’s not a mouth we meet that we don’t like! It’s our job as Kyle’s best orthodontist to make you aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to teeth. Although a lot of the patients we see have straightforward cases, there are some issues other than typical crowding or an overbite that stand in their way. One of these conditions is called dental ankylosis.

What is Dental Ankylosis?

Definition of Dental Ankylosis: “Ankylosis occurs when a tooth fuses to the surrounding bone and slowly begins to sink or submerge into the nearby gum tissue. Normally, small fibers called the periodontal ligament hold a tooth in its socket, but with ankylosis, this connection is absent, and the tooth becomes directly attached to nearby bone. Although this condition can affect baby and adult molar teeth, it is most commonly noticed when children fail to lose a baby tooth at the appropriate time.”

In other words, in a normal tooth, the root is attached to the bone by collagen fibers that make up the periodontal membrane, (also called the periodontal ligament). Not only does the periodontal ligament act as a shock absorber, but it also lets the tooth have just a little bit of movement and keeps the tooth from fusing to the bone. With an ankylosed tooth, the tooth has fused directly to the bone, so the periodontal ligament does not separate the tooth from the surrounding portion of the jawbone.

Why Should I Worry About An Ankylosed Tooth?

Dental ankylosis can interfere with the proper development of your child’s mouth. Because an ankylosed baby tooth cannot move, a permanent tooth cannot emerge and take its place. This leads to crowding or teeth that are not aligned properly. With crowded teeth going in all different directions, oral hygiene can suffer. Kids can find it hard to brush or floss, which can lead to cavities and even periodontal disease. Because sometimes the tooth can be lower than other teeth around it, people can also find it difficult to chew correctly.

An ankylosed tooth can also cause the jaw to develop abnormally, negatively affecting the growth and appearance of the face. A deformed jaw and crowded or misaligned teeth can lead to difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speech impairment.

Even though this is known as a somewhat rare condition, at Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle, we are seeing more and more X-rays of ankylosed baby teeth in children than in past years.

Why Does My Child Have Dental Ankylosis?

Genes play a major role in whether or not your child has dental ankylosis. In other words, there’s not much you can do to prevent it. However, teeth can also become ankylosed due to trauma. If your child sustained an injury to their mouth when playing sports, falling from a tall playground slide, climbing the monkey bars, or some other reason, they may develop an ankylosed tooth.

According to the International Organization of Scientific Research’s Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS), dental ankylosis has a higher incidence in siblings and is slightly more common in females. The one-year-old molar in the lower jaw is the tooth that ankylosis most commonly affects.

How Do You Treat Dental Ankylosis?

Of course each individual patient is different, so Kyle orthodontic treatment may vary from person to person. If dental ankylosis is caught early on and both your dentist and orthodontist are aware of it, then treatment may be less complicated.

With a baby ankylosed tooth, most orthodontists will wait and see if a permanent tooth will erupt and push the baby tooth out. If there is no permanent tooth present, then the baby tooth may need to be pulled to make more room in the mouth for other teeth and prevent crowding. In most cases, orthodontic treatment is absolutely necessary to allow the jaw and other teeth to align and develop properly.

The time of onset, the time of diagnosis, if the tooth is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, and the location of the affected tooth are just a few of the factors that determine the course of treatment.

Choose Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle

Think you might have dental ankylosis? At our office, Board-certified Kyle orthodontist Dr. Oldham offers FREE orthodontic consultations for his patients. During your consultation you’ll have X-rays taken, a full digital image rendered of your individual smile, and a thorough oral exam done by Dr. Oldham. Issues like overbite, crowding, or even something complicated like dental ankylosis will be diagnosed and a potential treatment plan made. Dr. Oldham will discuss your individual case and go over all your financial options with you. You’ll receive attentiveness and care every step of the way.

“I chose orthodontics so that I could help contribute to that change and give someone a big, beautiful smile they’re proud of sharing,” says Dr. Oldham. “It’s extremely rewarding to see my patients go from very shy and unsure at the beginning of treatment to very outspoken and confident at the end of treatment. It makes you feel proud at the end of the day that you’ve made a difference in that person’s life. My goal is to be the Kyle Orthodontist who does that for each and every one of my patients.”

At our office, you’re not just another patient. You’re part of our family!

If you live in Kyle, San Marcos, or Buda, orthodontics has never been easier.

We provide Kyle/Buda braces and Invisalign in Kyle to kids, teens, and adults.

Call us today at 512-256-7886 to schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation!