During your most recent visit to your dentist, they may have informed you that you have several teeth that are geminated, which means that one tooth is basically a double tooth that has two regions of pulp that are held together by a single layer of enamel. While this condition normally occurs in baby teeth, it can affect permanent teeth as well. Usually, the gemination is small enough that it does not cause any issues. However, if you have large geminated teeth, there are a few possible problems that could arise if they are not treated.
1. Increases the Risk of Cavities and Tooth Decay
When you look at a geminated tooth, you can often see how it should be two separate teeth. The vertical ridge where the teeth should have been separated is well defined, and there is usually an increased number of ridges in the tooth enamel. Because of these extra ridges and indentations, geminated teeth are more prone to tartar and plaque development because they trap food and bacteria.
And because of the ridges and the way the teeth grow in to push into the teeth next to them, they are harder to clean. Brushing as you normally do with a toothbrush may not remove all of the food, and you may not be able to insert dental floss between the geminated teeth and the ones next to them. This makes the teeth more prone to cavities and eventual tooth decay if they are not treated.
Usually, an electric toothbrush and water flosser are required to fully clean the teeth. However, especially if the gemination is severe, you may still end up with cavities and tooth decay. If small enough, a crown can be placed over the geminated teeth to protect the enamel. If large, however, the tooth will need to be pulled.
2. Leads to Severe Tooth Misalignment
When a tooth is geminated, you basically have two teeth that are trying to take up the same space as one tooth. Especially if the gemination is large, this can create an issue with the rest of the teeth in your mouth. Not only will a geminated tooth rub up against another tooth and weaken its enamel, but it can also cause severe tooth misalignment, or malocclusion.
If you have had crooked teeth since your permanent set came in, the geminated teeth may be at least partially to blame, if not entirely. When a permanent tooth is largely geminated, it will cause pressure on any other permanent teeth as they try to come in.
Even if a tooth is not adjacent to a geminated one, the growth pattern of one next to it will cause the tooth to come in crooked. This crooked growth pattern then continues on until a majority of your teeth are maloccluded.
If you were unable to get braces when you were younger, you may be thinking about it now. However, if you have any tooth geminations, the braces may not work because the pressure will remain, which will push against the teeth and make them crooked again.
If this is the case, your dentist will need to treat the gemination before you can get braces. Sometimes, the tooth can be filed and reshaped. However, if the gemination is large, you may need to have the tooth extracted, then a dental implant can be inserted in its place.
If you have any permanent geminated teeth that are causing gum inflammation and pain or you suspect that they are responsible for any of the above issues, you should have it examined. Make an appointment with a dentist so they can look at the teeth to determine the extent of the damage they are causing, as well as to discuss available treatment options, such as reshaping or extracting the teeth.
Reach out to a clinic such as Twin Cities Dental to learn more.Share