Tooth eruption: What we know we don't know!
We still know very little about the development of teeth and tooth eruption, although we have learnt quite a lot in recent years with due to advances in gene technology.
We do know a few hundred genes that regulate tooth development. A recent article in the ADJ 2014:59(1 Suppl):48-54 says that most of what we know comes from work with mice but studies show that largely the same genes are involved in the regulation of tooth development across all animal species! Interestingly no tooth-only specific regulatory genes have been discovered. Hence problems with genetic issues with teeth are likely to have defects in other tissues of the body.
Gene studies of teeth are fascinating because while humans and most mammals have lost the ability to generate new teeth more than once, there are reptiles that can still do this. Many laboratories around the world are looking at stem cells contained in dental tissue which bring with them the hope of being able to regenerate new teeth.
Gene studies also help us understand dental defects such as missing teeth.
Parents need to keep a watchful eye on childrens' teeth cleaning to reinforce a regular habit. Regular dental check-ups monitor growth and minimise decay risks.
Random things you need to know
1. You are what you eat but...while having seemingly the same diet, one member of the family may get decay, while others don't.
2. It's not how MUCH sweet foods you eat but how OFTEN you eat them.
3. You can not brush your teeth often enough to compensate for your dietary faults.
4. Most dental problems don't cause any pain until they become quite advanced and often difficult to treat.
5."They're only baby teeth..." children can begin to get adult teeth from pre-school years. Problems with baby teeth often affect the adult teeth.
Tooth eruption /Growing teeth
Q. My childs baby teeth are still present and the adult teeth are starting to come through - is this a worry?
A. This is quite common. It's often a sign that the mouth won't have enough room for the permanent teeth. See your dentist. Don't upset your child by saying the dentist will need to take teeth out. Let the dentist make the decision. If removing baby teeth won't benefit the child in the long term the dentist may leave nature to take its course.
Baby teeth eruption times: Very approximate
Upper and lower front 4 teeth - 6 to 16 months
Upper and lower canine teeth - 16 to 23 months
Upper and lower molar teeth - 1year to 3 years
Permanent teeth eruption times: Very approximate
Upper and lower front 4 teeth: 6 to 9 years
Upper and lower first molars(six year old molars): 6 to 7 years
Upper and lower canine and premolars: 10 -12 years
Upper and lower second molars(12 year old molars): 11 - 13 years
Upper and lower third molars( wisdom teeth): 17 - 25 years
The chewing surface of the back molar teeth often has grooves and pits where food collects. To help prevent decay, sealants are painted on these surfaces. These form a barrier to keep food and bacteria out.
Ask the dentist about this preventive treatment. The molar teeth grow from about 6 years of age and are present BEHIND the last baby molar teeth.
Some children benefit from treatment at an early age to correct teeth or jaw problems.
Early treatment can sometimes save the need for later treatment or make the final outcome of later treatment much more successful. More information...