Jagged Teeth: An Overview, Causes, Treatments, and More

Beatrice J. Doty

Jagged teeth are small rounded bumpy ridges on the edges of your four front teeth (incisors) that are newly erupted, they give you a wavy, scalloped, serrated, or misaligned look. These bumps are made of enamel just like the rest of the tooth outer covering.

Incisors usually have three protuberances, called mamelons. Mamelons are the jagged bumps that appear on the child’s permanent teeth, and they help the tooth break through the gumline.

Sometimes, these bumps wear down naturally with time due to chewing and grinding, so they are smoothed out normally.

On the other hand, these humps may not wear down due to some causes such as your teeth are not lined up correctly, they came in late, or other alignment issues like:

  • Deep bite: it is when front teeth overlap bottom teeth, and that is caused by the lower jaw being shorter than the top jaw.
  • Open bite: It is the case when your front teeth do NOT vertically overlap bottom teeth.
  • Crossbite: It is when your upper teeth fit inside your lower teeth, and it is a type of misalignment or malocclusion.
  • Underbite: It is when lower teeth extend farther than upper teeth, caused by jaw misalignment.
  • Crowding: It is when teeth have no space to grow correctly.
  • Spacing: It is the opposite of crowding, meaning that there is excess space and gaps between your teeth. 
  • Protrusion: It is when your lower jaw is really far back than your upper jaw.

So, although this condition is mostly seen among permanent teeth for children, some adults have jagged teeth too due to the pre-mentioned cases.

The jagged edges on your molars are called cusps and they add to the strength of your teeth by acting as a sharp edge for biting, ripping, cutting, or grinding food against them.

There are eight incisors, four in the lower middle of your mouth, and four in the upper middle, so they are the very first thing people see when you smile.

Treatment

Mamelons are not considered harmful to your oral health, however, if you do not feel comfortable with your jagged teeth, or you are self-conscious about your smile & how you look, talk to your dentist.

The recontouring process includes reshaping the edges of your teeth. Your doctor will smooth out your enamel giving you a neat even tooth and a beautiful smile!

Before doing that, your doctor will take some x-rays to figure out where your pulp is, then this is what will your dentist do:

  1. Mark the area where the tooth has to be reshaped.
  2. He or she is going to use a tool such as a drill, file, or disc to shave the edges of your teeth.
  3. Make sure that the teeth are aligned properly and correctly.
  4. Put final touches, meaning smoothing and polishing your teeth.

Should You or Should You Not Remove Mamelons?

Any procedure you do will surely have its pros and cons, and this applies to this one as well, and although these mamelons are not harmful, some patients might want to smooth them for aesthetic reasons. Here are their upsides and downsides:

Upsides:

  • This procedure is non-invasive, and painless, because this part of the tooth (which is the enamel) does not have any nerves or blood vessels, therefore, your dentist will not give you any painkillers or inject you with any local anesthesia.
  • It takes no time to be fully completed, as well as, it does not require any recovery time afterward.
  • When the procedure is done, you will find it easier to take care of your teeth.
  • The procedure is permanent, and these humps will not grow or appear again.

Downsides:

  • This procedure only makes really minor changes, so do not expect that big changes are going to happen.
  • Some teeth become sensitive to hot and cold, but only for a short time after the procedure, so you should pay attention to the temperature of your food and drinks, at least in the very few days after the treatment.
  • If your dentist removed much of your enamel, you might have fractures or tooth decay in the future, and you are probably going to need to undergo a tooth filling treatment.
  • Since this treatment is cosmetic, your insurance might not cover its cost, and you will have to pay from your own pocket.

The bottom line is that jagged or mamelon teeth are a really normal variation for children’s teeth, and they will be naturally reshaped over time due to eating.

Whether you are the one who still has these uneven teeth, or your child is the one who does, do not hesitate to call your dentist, set an appointment, and undergo this treatment, especially when you and/or your child are concerned about how you look.

Always remember to smile confidently!

Author bio:

Dr. Nabil Mockbil is an Orthodontist who received his DDS in 2001 from Umea University in Sweden, regarded as having the best dentist programme in Sweden for undergraduates. He’s now the founder of Swedish Dental Clinic in Dubai

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