Recognizing Dental Ankylosis
Ankylosis occurs when a tooth fuses to the surrounding bone and slowly begins to sink or submerge into the nearby gum tissue. Normally, small fibers called the periodontal ligament hold a tooth in its socket, but with ankylosis, this connection is absent, and the tooth becomes directly attached to nearby bone. Although this condition can affect baby and adult molar teeth, it is most commonly noticed when children fail to lose a baby tooth at the appropriate time.
Ankylosis is considered a rare disease. According to the International Organization of Scientific Research's Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS), the prevalence of ankylosis ranges from 1.3 to 14.3 percent of people, has a higher incidence in siblings, and is slightly more common in females. As far as when you might notice this condition in your child, ankylosis affects baby teeth 10 times more often than adult teeth. The one-year-old molar in the lower jaw is the tooth that ankylosis most commonly affects. A person may have only a single ankylosed tooth or several. Luckily, your dental professional will be able to diagnose this condition during an examination.
So, what causes teeth to sink into the gum? Several factors cause ankylosis. Some people are genetically predisposed and thus inherit the condition; others may develop this condition due to trauma, like a jaw injury, inflammation, or infection.