Keeping your teeth young
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Keeping your teeth young

As we get older suddenly we realised many things we didn't appreciate about being young - being fit, having smooth skin and having all your own teeth. As our loose teeth (and bridges) struggle to deal with chewier food we start eating bland mush and, there is no easy way to say this, OLD PEOPLE FOOD. I'm determined not to let that happen to me and I'm doing everything I can to keep my own teeth as long as possible, and when that's not possible to get the best possible teeth replacement. If you are like me and want to keep on eating whatever you want, I think you'll like my site. It's all about dental health and teeth replacement & maintenance.

Keeping your teeth young

Turner's Tooth Explained: How Compromised Baby Teeth Can Negatively Affect Permanent Teeth

Mabel Hicks

Your children's baby (primary) teeth usually begin to loosen and fall out between the ages of 5 and 7. This process generally starts with the lower central incisors (bottom middle teeth) and is followed by the upper central incisors soon after. During this phase it is not uncommon for these teeth to come out whilst your child is chewing some toast or eating a sandwich.

This is a perfectly natural process and once a baby tooth has come out in this way, it takes anywhere from a week to 6 months for the permanent tooth to appear. However, if this process is interrupted, for example, due to tooth decay or accidental trauma, the permanent tooth could be affected in several ways.

Turner's Tooth in Regards to Tooth Decay

Also referred to by dentists as Turner's hypoplasia, this condition can occur either due to decay or dental trauma. When a primary tooth (baby tooth) is compromised by a cavity, due to an excess of sugar in a child's diet, the tooth begins to decay if left untreated.

Even if your child is of an age where you might expect their adult teeth to soon come through (5-7 years of age), if you detect the presence of tooth decay, see your dentist immediately. If this tooth decay is left untreated, the infection may become so severe that it could spread to the permanent tooth sitting closely behind it within the jawbone.

When this happens, the permanent tooth may become discolored, be poorly formed, have weak enamel, and even stop developing altogether.

Turner's Tooth in Regards to Accidental Trauma

This tends to happen because young children are always on the move, and this usually affects the frontal teeth due to collisions and falling accidents. The most common side-effect of this type of trauma in regards to permanent teeth is that the face of the permanent tooth may become discolored as well as malformed.

Treatment Options for Turner's Tooth

Because each case is different, you won't know for sure what kind of damage will occur without the help of a dentist. Your dentist will be able to detect any early signs of trouble with the permanent teeth via x-ray, and then decide on a course of treatment. However, here are some common problems and how they could be treated:

  1. Crooked Teeth: If the affected primary teeth need to be extracted, or are knocked out too early, the permanent teeth behind them may come in crooked. This is because the primary teeth serve as placeholders to guide the permanent teeth into position. In this case, the best option is braces to straighten the teeth and make them easier to clean. Invisalign is also an option however, you need to ensure that your child stays disciplined during the course of treatment, which could last several months or more.
  2. Malformed or Discolored Teeth: For young children, composite bonding could be used to give the affected teeth a whiter, more pleasing appearance. Later, the bonding could be replaced with veneers. For teeth that are discolored, teeth-whitening is also an option. For children, in-house whitening is recommended as this is a safer option than at-home DIY treatments.
  3. Non-Developing Tooth: A skilled endodontist might be able to treat the root of the affected permanent tooth and encourage it to begin normal development once again.

If your child has lost a tooth due to trauma or you are worried that they may have a cavity; book an appointment with your family dentist immediately. By treating the affected tooth now, you can prevent any damage to the incoming permanent teeth.