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Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids
Fused tooth in 17-month-old toddler
Hi! I found out today that my 17 month old son has a fused tooth on the front bottom right side. I am baffled by this news and would like to know more about this,etc./the official diagnosis/is this something caused by me when I was pregnant with him?/ can this be related to his diagnosis of tongue tie at birth?/is this genetic?/is it likely to be in our future 2nd child?/when will he loose this tooth?. Thank you so much for your time.
Fusion or gemination of teeth is seen in about 0.5% of children, so it is not all that unusual. Fusion is the union, early in development, of two teeth, and gemination is the incomplete division of a tooth into two teeth. The easiest way to tell the difference is to count the teeth. There should be ten primary teeth on the bottom. If there's no extra tooth, it is fusion.
Missing, geminated and fused teeth tend to run in families, but the genetics is not well understood yet. Fused or geminated teeth have never been linked to any environmental influences during pregnancy.
The fused tooth should be followed by a dentist because fused baby teeth are sometimes delayed in exfoliation (loss) and can cause late or disturbed eruption of the permanent tooth. They also tend to get decay (cavities) at the groove where the two teeth are joined. Compared to other tooth problems, though, this one is relatively minor.
Ann A Griffen, DDS, MS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University