Have an erupted tooth? Symptoms, treatments and relief.

Medically Reviewed by a
Licensed DDS

Table of Contents

  1. Super-Erupted Teeth
  2. Partially Erupted Teeth
  3. Wisdom Teeth
  4. References

In children, erupted teeth are normal. Your “baby teeth” fall out and are replaced with the adult set of teeth, which erupt from the gums to move the original set of teeth out of the way. This usually occurs between 6 and 7 years old.

By the time you reach 12 to 13 years old, you will have 28 of your permanent teeth in place. Between 17 and 21 years old, your wisdom teeth, or final back molars, may begin to come in. These are typically removed around the time they start erupting, as there is often not enough space in your jaw to accommodate them. If they aren’t removed, they can cause painful partial eruptions, overeruptions in other teeth, and other uncomfortable issues.

As permanent teeth come in, some people experience oral problems like partial eruptions or overeruptions. Wisdom teeth that are not removed before they come in may cause lasting problems too.

Super-erupted teeth cause dental hygiene problems.

A super-erupted, or overerupted, tooth can occur when another tooth is removed.

For example, if a molar is removed due to underlying disease that damages the tooth, the opposite molar may begin to erupt further out of the gums because it does not have something to stabilize it. When the removed tooth is replaced with an implant, a dentist may need to assess the surrounding teeth to ensure there are no structural issues that require reshaping to create an even plane.

Symptoms
About 92 percent of unopposed teeth can super-erupt. When a tooth is removed, even as an adult, the opposing tooth may move and continue to erupt until they reach your gums. This can cause your teeth to shift and become crooked, and it can damage your gums. Exposed areas on the erupted tooth can be painful and lead to infection.
Treatment
Managing this issue involves endodontic therapy, which may require adding an implant to oppose the super-erupted tooth, reshaping the super-erupted tooth or grinding it down to create an even bite, or other reshaping treatments. After reshaping the plane of the teeth, you may also need treatment to realign your teeth.
An erupted tooth is normal in childhood, as kids get permanent teeth, but problems with tooth eruptions in adulthood can lead to dental hygiene trouble, infection, and misalignment.

Partially erupted teeth can cause pain and misalignment.

Pericoronitis is the medical term describing partially erupted teeth. Sometimes, permanent teeth do not come in or only partially come in, especially if they do not have enough room between teeth or in the jaws to erupt to their proper place. Partial eruptions are hard to clean and increase your risk of tooth or gum infections.

Symptoms
Your dentist may notice that you have a tooth that is shorter than the other teeth, and they can use x-rays to see that it is not completely in place. Other signs that you have pericoronitis include halitosis and gingivitis.
Treatment

If you have an impacted, or partially erupted, tooth, your dentist will create at treatment plan that starts by cleaning and flushing the area around the tooth. This removes debris. If you have an abscess, it starts to clean out the bacteria.

Then, x-rays will tell your dentist whether the tooth might erupt eventually or if it will remain impacted. The tooth may need to be removed and replaced with an implant. If it can erupt on its own, you may need to straighten your teeth to make room.

Wisdom teeth often need to be removed.

These is a set of adult molars that come in during the late adolescent and young adult years. For many people, these teeth cause problems. They may partially erupt, or they may become impacted and fail to erupt. If one comes in without the opposing wisdom tooth, it can lead to overeruption. These teeth can shift your other permanent teeth, causing misalignment and oral hygiene problems.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth have enough room to come in and not cause problems with oral hygiene or tooth alignment, but this is rare. The typical course of treatment is to preventatively remove these teeth when a person is in high school or college, whether the teeth have begun to erupt or not.

Symptoms

Sensitive gums, inflammation, pain around the tooth, sensitivity in the jaw, tender lymph nodes, and infection are all symptoms of problems with wisdom teeth.

Even if symptoms of infection come and go, untreated oral infections can lead to infections in the bloodstream. These can travel throughout the body and infect other areas, including the heart. Over the course of an adult’s life, recurrent infections can lead to a feeling of malaise, trouble concentrating, and even organ damage.

Treatment

The treatment for any issue with wisdom teeth is to remove them. This reduces the risk of infection and tooth misalignment. Unlike other teeth, wisdom teeth tend to be entirely removed and not replaced with implants.

Most people have all four wisdom teeth removed at once. This may require going under general anesthesia, so you need to arrange for help getting home after the procedure.

Recovery can take about two weeks, as the gums completely heal. You will have a visit with your dentist soon after that, so they can examine your mouth and ensure that you have healed well. You may be prescribed a preventative course of antibiotics.

More often, some people choose local anesthesia during wisdom tooth removal. This process can be long and complex, so dentists still commonly recommend general anesthesia.

If an erupted, partially erupted, or impacted wisdom tooth has caused damage to a surrounding tooth, you may need further dental treatments, such as a filling, a root canal, or removal of that tooth.

References.

Tooth Eruption: The Permanent Teeth. (January 2006). American Dental Association (ADA).

The Clinical Prognosis of Implants That Are Placed Against Super-Erupted Opposing Dentation. (June 2016). Journal of the Korean Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Seven Signs and Symptoms of Occlusal Disease: The Key to an Easy Diagnosis. (August 2009). Dentistry Today.

Erupted Tooth: Pericoronitis Symptoms & Treatment. Oral B.

What Is an Impacted Tooth? (February 2018). American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Problems With Erupting Wisdom Teeth: Signs, Symptoms, and Management. (August 2016). British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).

Wisdom Teeth. (December 2019). MedicineNet.

Dental Braces. (May 2019). Mayo Clinic.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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