Everyone is unique, starting with their genetics, affected by their lifelong diet and exercise habits, and everything else from the environment to their medical care. This includes, of course, their mouth and their oral health. Very few people grow up fully appreciating just how challenging it is to keep their gums and teeth clean and the implications if they don’t. Periodontal bacteria from gum infections can spread throughout the body and significantly raise the risk of everything from diabetes and cardiovascular disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
That’s why it is so important to have a full dental physical examination twice a year. A small cavity can quickly cause a tooth to die or mild bleeding of the gums could lead to a tooth becoming loose and needing to be extracted. If something looks suspicious, a digital x-ray (which involves minimal radiation), may be necessary to get a clear view and guide Dr. Cluff in deciding how to deal with the issue. This might also reveal other teeth that have not yet appeared.
Some Issues are Easier to Miss
Some problems are rare and all the more reason to be sure she regularly looks for early signs and hidden problems. For example, having an extra tooth start to grow in, whether in a child or adult, is known as hyperdontia or having a supernumerary or supplemental tooth, according to Medical News Today https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hyperdontia.
Extra Teeth can Occur from Baby Teeth
With young children, one or more extra teeth can occur with their baby teeth .3-.6% of the time, while for permanent teeth the prevalence can be as high as 3.8%. In males, it is twice as common. The majority of cases involve just one tooth (most in the upper jaw), but multiples can increase the urgency to provide a solution.
That’s because an extra tooth or two in the wrong place, like emerging from the upper gums, is likely to cause crowding. Think of wisdom teeth, the very back molars, which often are extracted in teens as a preventive measure, before they crowd other teeth and lead to difficulties cleaning and result in infections.
If the extra tooth is visible above the gum line, it is described as “erupted.” If not, it is labeled “impacted” and beginning to cause problems. Among these can be moving other teeth into crooked positions, creating gaps between them, abnormal root formation in nearby teeth, and inflammation.
Hyperdontia can also be an indicator of more serious disorders, such as genetic diseases, and require early diagnosis for the best outcome.
But if the extra tooth just needs to be removed to avoid trouble, a simple extraction will be done and you won’t feel any pain because Dr. Cluff can provide you with many anesthetic options.
If you have not had a dental exam in the past half year, call San Diego Healthy Smiles today to set an appointment.