Anatomy of your child’s jaw

Posted on by Dr. Robert Axelrad (Brampton Dentist)

It’s true what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words. “

I thought it would be interesting for all of you parents out there (or in fact anyone) to see what the inside of your jaws looked like as a child (about 8-10 years of age). Who would have thought that there would be so much going on?

x-ray of jaw with teeth and milk teeth

Double Click to Enlarge Image

What you can see in this x ray (called a Panorex), is that not only are the primary teeth present, but the adult ones are too! We refer to them as ‘tooth buds.’ As you can see in the image, they are either above the primary teeth (in the case of the upper arch) or below the primary teeth (in the case of the lower arch).

These secondary (adult) teeth or tooth buds will grow roots and are ‘programmed’ at different ages to erupt into the mouth.

As mentioned in the previous blog, there is a sequence of eruption for both the primary and adult teeth.

Question: How does this work? And what makes the primary teeth fall out?

As an example, let’s look at a lower primary tooth.

As a child grows and develops, so do the teeth in their mouths. As the adult tooth bud matures, it grows a root. In the case of a lower tooth, this process involves the developing adult tooth to move upwards. As it moves up, the adult tooth encounters the roots of the primary tooth.

What happens next is fascinating…

The adult tooth starts to eat away or ‘resorb’ the roots of the primary tooth. Remember, the roots of the tooth are what anchor it into the jaw bone. So, if the roots are eaten away over time, the primary tooth will become loose and eventually falls out.

Next time your child wiggles their ‘baby’ tooth, you’ll know the reason why.

Get to know Dr. Axelrad and make your child’s dental visit a positive experience. Call us today at (905) 791-3867 or visit us at Bestgate Professional Center, 40 Finchgate Boulevard, Suite 121, Brampton, Ontario. Walk-ins and Emergencies are welcome.

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