Journey of a Tooth

Everyone knows the basics of tooth development, they grow in, fall out, grow back and sometimes fall out again. What most people don’t know is that there is a system and it starts months before that first little friend pops through the gum line. Teeth begin to develop in the embryonic stage at about 3-6 weeks. There the soft tissue forms and creates small translucent tooth nubs. At 3-4 months hard tissue starts to develop around the tooth and thin translucent roots will start to grow down. By the time of birth, there are 20 fully developed teeth buried under the gums. In some rare cases, babies will be born with partially erupted teeth.

Baby’s teeth will start to erupt between 3-6 months, this stage is commonly called teething. Since every child develops at a different rate it’s hard to say exactly when and what teeth will come in, fall out, and come back in. However, the first tooth to come in is typically the lower central incisor (middle teeth) between 3 and 6 months; and is shortly followed by the second lower central incisor. Next is the upper central incisors and they come in at around 8 and 12 months. Then the upper lateral incisors (next to middle teeth) at 9 and 13 months. After that, the upper 4 molars come in between 13 and 25 months. Next the lower lateral incisors at around 10 and 18 months. Then the lower 4 molars that come in between 14 and 23 months. The last to come in are the upper and lower cuspids (commonly known as canine) come in at around 16 and 23 months.

Now, when the baby teeth are ready to fall out the brain sends special cells to eat away at the baby tooth root. As this is happening the adult teeth are slowly starting to push the baby teeth up and out! While your baby teeth typically fall out in the order they erupt in, adult teeth are more sporadic.

Permanent Teeth Upper:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisors: 8 to 9 years

Canine: 11 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 7 to 11 years

1st and 2nd Molars:  8 to 12 years

Permanent Teeth Lower:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisors: 7 to 8 years

Canine: 9 to 10 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 10 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Molars: 7 to 11 years

teeth-types

Sometimes permanent teeth can grow in crooked, this can be caused by:

  • thumb sucking
  • pacifier or bottle use
  • tongue thrusting
  • mouth breathing
  • misaligned jaw
  • having a baby tooth knocked out too early

These can cause jaw alignment issues, to fix these problems braces or other teeth alignment equipment may be used.

Once your permanent teeth come in they aren’t supposed to fall out, however, some of these factors can cause you to lose adult teeth:

  • Periodontitis: Commonly known as gum disease is responsible for 70% of tooth loss. It is an infection in your gums that causes redness, irritation, deterioration of the tooth, and finally tooth loss.
  • Cavities: They form when bacteria infection sits for too long and causes tooth decay. If the decay has reached the root a root canal must be done, if that fails the tooth will need to be pulled.
  • Injury: Avoid using your teeth to remove caps, tops or lids, to loosen knots, tear off tags or cut thread, don’t use your teeth to chew ice, open nut shells or chew on popcorn kernels.

If your tooth falls out and is not cracked or broken, immediately put it in cold milk and call your dentist right away. The dentists can sometimes reinsert the tooth. Please do not attempt to put the tooth in yourself, you can cause damage to your gums. This can make it impossible for the dentist to successfully reattach the tooth to the root.

There are a few different ways to repair your smile after the loss of a tooth. Ask your dentist which option is best to replace those missing teeth.

Remember to brush twice a day and floss once to keep those pearly whites clean and healthy.

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

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