Is Ectopic Eruption of Teeth common in Children
An ectopic eruption is when a child’s adult (permanent) tooth comes in (erupts) at an abnormal position. The permanent tooth may grow in front of or behind the child’s baby (primary) teeth.
The permanent tooth may also get stuck underneath a primary tooth and grow in crooked.
Permanent teeth often erupt behind the front primary teeth (incisors). Usually this does not need treatment. Other types of ectopic eruptions may need treatment to prevent other tooth problems from developing.
Ectopic eruption of teeth refers to a condition where a tooth erupts (emerges through the gums) in a location that is not its normal or expected position within the dental arch.
This can occur in both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. While ectopic eruption is not extremely common, it is not an extremely rare occurrence either, and its frequency can vary depending on the specific tooth and population being studied.
Certain teeth are more prone to ectopic eruption due to their anatomical positioning and the dynamics of dental development. The most common examples of ectopic eruption in children include:
- Permanent Maxillary Canine (Upper Eyetooth): Ectopic eruption of the maxillary canine into the space between the roots of the adjacent incisors is a relatively common occurrence.
- Primary Mandibular Second Molar (Lower Second Baby Molar): Ectopic eruption of the lower second primary molar forward into the space of the first permanent molar is another example.
- Permanent Mandibular Premolars: Ectopic eruption of the lower permanent premolars into the space between the roots of primary molars is also observed.
The exact prevalence of ectopic eruption can vary based on factors such as age, genetics, ethnicity, and specific tooth. It’s important to note that in many cases, ectopic eruption can resolve naturally as the child’s jaw continues to grow and develop, creating more space for teeth.
If Ectopic Eruption of Teeth is causing significant crowding or impaction of adjacent teeth, orthodontic intervention may be necessary. Orthodontists can assess the situation and recommend appropriate treatment, which might include orthodontic appliances to guide the tooth into its correct position.
Regular dental check-ups and monitoring of dental development can help identify and address ectopic eruption early, if needed. If you have concerns about your child’s dental development, it’s a good idea to consult with a pediatric dentist or orthodontist for guidance.
What are the causes of Ectopic Eruption of Teeth?
Any condition that changes the normal spacing between primary teeth can cause an ectopic eruption. Most cases are caused by abnormal timing of when primary teeth come out and permanent teeth come in, such as:
- Losing primary teeth too early. This can change the spacing in your child’s mouth.
- Losing primary teeth too late. This can block the path of the permanent tooth.
Other causes may include:
- Not having the normal number of primary teeth. This may change the spacing in the mouth.
- Having more permanent teeth than normal (hyperdontia).
- Having a small mouth. This may mean there is not enough space for all of the teeth.
- Having a mouth or jaw injury.
What increases the risk?
Ectopic Eruption of Teeth is more likely to develop in:
- Children who have a family history of ectopic eruption.
- Children who are 6–13 years old.
- Children who have a history of cleft lip or palate.
What are the signs or symptoms?
Ectopic Eruption of Teeth may not cause any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Sharp pain when biting down on food.
- Constant pain or pressure.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
- Swelling of the gums.
- Upper and lower teeth that do not line up (malocclusion).
- Teeth that are crowded or crooked.
- Trouble chewing.
How is Ectopic Eruption of Teeth diagnosed?
Your child’s dental care provider may discover ectopic eruption during a routine dental exam. Dental X-rays may show a permanent tooth that is out of alignment before it comes in. Your child may also have other tests, including:
- Additional X-rays.
- Photographs of the face.
- Plaster models of the teeth (impressions).
How is this treated?
Treatment for Ectopic Eruption of Teeth depends on the position and stage of the tooth eruption. Early treatment can prevent future problems. The goal of treatment is to make more space for permanent teeth to grow. Treatment may include:
- Pulling primary teeth (extraction).
- Wearing an orthodontic appliance. These include space maintainers, retainers, or braces.
- Oral surgery to uncover an erupting tooth.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth twice a day.
- Keep all follow-up visits as directed by your child’s health care provider. This is important.
Contact a health care provider if:
- Your child has new pain or your child’s pain gets worse.
- Your child has trouble chewing.
- Your child has new symptoms.
- Your child’s symptoms get worse.