January 06, 2022
Teeth have the natural ability to adjust to changes inside the mouth. Over time, this is achieved by the periodontal ligament. It is a tissue that connects the bone to the tooth and rearranges itself in response to pressures and forces received by the tooth. Tooth emergence is controlled by these different forces meant to balance one another. The bone from the jaw pushes on teeth, causing them to emerge until they meet the opposing teeth. The force from this opposition is what keeps teeth from erupting too far. But if the opposing tooth is worn down, removed, or not present, then the function of the periodontal ligament can become problematic and lead to over eruption. Other names for this condition include hypereruption, supraeruption, super eruption, and continuous eruption.
What is overeruption?
In dentistry, over eruption occurs when a tooth emerges too much so that not only the crown is exposed but also the tooth root. This physiological movement of a tooth is a concern because the root is not as resilient or durable as the crown and is more prone to sensitivity and decay. And if a tooth erupts outside the line of occlusion it can cause neighboring teeth to drift out of place as well.
What causes over eruption?
In the past, the condition of over eruption was much more common due to excessive wear from coarse diets. Teeth would wear down and often result in the super eruption of opposing teeth. But with modern diets of softer foods, teeth do not wear down as quickly. Instead, the modern condition of over eruption is most common in teeth that are missing opposing partners in occlusion. Over eruption can also occur with bad bite, worn or damaged teeth, and poorly designed restorations. If left alone, the condition will only get worse as the tooth emerges more and more.
Factors that increase the risk of over eruption
Teeth lacking an opposing tooth do not always result in over eruption. The condition is more common and more severe in cases of young people. It is also more likely to occur in maxillary molars than in mandibular molars.
Signs and symptoms of an over-erupted tooth
A patient may have over eruption if they have:
• A tooth that juts up higher than neighboring teeth
• A tooth that feels wobbly
• A tooth that is extremely sensitive
• Pain in the area of an overexposed root
• Gums are even but darker tooth surface is visible
• Headaches and jaw aches
Overexposure of the tooth root to the oral environment can increase the risk of dental cavities. And over eruption can also cause interferences in occlusion and result in challenges when constructing implants or dentures.
What is the treatment for overeruption?
Typically, treatment involves using orthodontic techniques to direct the over-erupted tooth back to the intended position. The dentist might also cut down the interfering portion of the tooth and install a crown. But as with most dental procedures, prevention is the best treatment. That is why, for patients that require extraction, it is important to plan ahead for tooth replacement to help avoid over eruption and other issues with occlusion.