The teeth are extremely interesting parts of our bodies, and most people don't completely understand them. We know that we get two sets of teeth and that both the baby and permanent sets will erupt through the gums, but how exactly how does that work? What causes that action to take place?
The process of the teeth growing into the mouth actually involves several steps. First, the overlying hard tissue is reabsorbed due to the enzymes in the dental follicle. This creates a path so that the tooth can move when the time comes, and it also remodels the bone.
Next, hydrostatic pressure builds up at the tip of the tooth as it develops, and this pressure will assist the developing tooth in pushing gradually into the mouth through the gums.
This process is aided by metabolic activity in the periodontal ligament found around the root of the tooth, which will help to create the eruptive force by pushing the tooth upward.
Many people also don't realize that there is a time of day when tooth eruption is most likely to occur, and that is in the late evening. This is the time of day when certain hormones are released, such as GH, melatonin, and thyroid hormones, so tooth eruption follows a certain circadian rhythm. Unfortunately for parents of infants who are teething, this is a difficult time, as it can often disrupt sleep patterns that might already be problematic.
The tooth will continue to erupt until it comes in contact with something. This is usually the tooth of the opposite arch, and this serves as a signal that it is time to stop growing. The process continues to compensate for vertical jaw growth that tends to occur with age.
If you have additional questions about how your teeth grow into your mouth or what to expect with your child's erupting teeth, contact our office today.