During dental development, as the dental tissues like enamel and dentine are being laid down in a child’s jaw, aberrations can occur. Severe trauma, such as a bad fall, can disturb the formation of the dental tissues. For instance when the root is being formed, a severe force can displace the developing dental tissues, resulting in a bent root. We call that tooth dilaceration. In other cases, newly arising or inherited genetic mutation can result in genes that code for odd-looking teeth. These odd-shaped teeth do not have the proper anatomy to function well. They may not be useful for chewing or biting, and may be difficult to keep clean. They also may not fit well against the teeth on the opposite jaw because of their irregular shape. If the defect is mild, we may keep them as their functional deficit is small. However, teeth that are grossly defective are better removed as they may be unattractive, or cause a problem with chewing as they do not fit well with their opposing teeth.
In this example below, it is difficult to keep these abnormal teeth clean, and that can give rise to tooth decay if meticulous oral hygiene is not maintained, especially with poor diet choices. The use of dental floss in such a situation would be a great help. If these abnormal teeth were to be extracted, orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign by a skilled dentist would be be able to close the resulting gap between the teeth. Closing a space like this would be to do when the patient is young.
See also: Deformed enamel