When a permanent tooth emerges through the gums at an improper time, position, angle, or level, that tooth is referred to as mal-erupted or mal-positioned. You may be more familiar with the term impacted, which relates to lack of room for a tooth to come in normally and there are several different types of impactions, but a mal-erupted tooth is different.
Any permanent tooth can become malerupted, but the most common teeth to suffer this fate are the wisdom teeth or the third molars.
Similarly, a mal-eruption can occur when a permanent tooth does not come in at the expected time. For example, if a deciduous (primary) tooth is lost prematurely or too late, the eruption of the permanent tooth slated for that spot may be thrown off course.
Your Chicago oral surgeon will be involved in the treatment of a mal-erupted tooth when an extraction is warranted. For example, if a tooth has only emerged in an misaligned position, the patient will probably face a surgical intervention because the tooth can cause bite discrepancies, hygiene challenges, and plaque traps and must therefore be removed to protect the neighboring teeth.
Any permanent tooth can become malerupted, but the most common teeth to suffer this fate are the wisdom teeth or the third molars. Those teeth are particularly misaligned, and the jaw may have limited room to hold them.
A malerupted tooth can result from a number of causes. As noted above, an untimely loss of a baby tooth can cause the permanent tooth to erupt too early or too late, potentially wrecking the alignment of the other teeth in the vicinity.
Crowding may also be at fault, leaving the tooth with inadequate room to emerge in the right spot.
Malerupted teeth can cause a host of problems. They may be more prone to infection or decay. They can cause pain and provide an environment that promotes the formation of decay on adjacent normally erupted teeth too. They may come in crooked, negatively impacting the smile’s appearance.
Patients with malerupted teeth should seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid all of the aforementioned negative outcomes. Even if they are asymptomatic, mal-erupted teeth can be identified through radiography, and a thorough clinical examination will be valuable in such cases.
If you are diagnosed with a malerupted tooth, consult with Dr. Steven Koos, your oral surgeon serving Downtown Chicago IL and the surrounding Chicagoland suburbs, to explore the possibility of extraction.