Mamelons Teeth

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Mamelons teeth ridges – what are they, do they serve a practical function, and what, if anything, can be done to get rid of them?

Mamelons are the tiny little bumps and ridges that are visible all along the outer edges of permament teeth, giving them more or less scalloped edges. 

Each tooth has three mamelons, but mamelons can vary a lot from person to person. Some people have mamelons that are very bumpy and noticeable, while others have mamelons that are barely visible to the naked eye.

The word ”mamelon” means nipple in French and it is quite a suitable word for decribing the rounded protuberances which can be found on the edge of the tooth. Just like the rest of the tooth’s outer covering, mamelons are made of enamel.

It is very common to notice mamelons in children’s permaent teeth, particuarl when they have just started coming in. However, it is not unsual to see mamelons on adult teeth as well.

This article is all about mamelons, what causes them, and how to get rid of them if you don’t like them cosmetically. Without futuer ado, let us get to the heart of the matter.

Mamelons, and the differnce between baby teeth and permanent teeth

Mamelons appear in newly erupted teeth and look like small bumps sitting right along the incisal edge. It isn’t fully known whether mamelons on children’s teeth serve any practical purpose, but it has been speculated that mamelons on teeth help them push through the gum tissue as they erupt. In other words, you may think of mamelons as similar to the ridges on the edge of a steak knife.

By the time they reach their mid-twenties, most adults will have worn away their mamelons as a simple result of biting and chewing. However, if your teeth grew in late or if your teeth are misaligned, your mamelons may not go away on their own.

Mamelon removal options

In the vast majority of cases, mamelons gradually wear away on their own. In other words, the best way to get rid of them is usually to just let nature take its course.

If, however, you are past the age of 25 and you still have mamelons on your teeth, you can be fairly certian that they will not disappear without a bit of assistance.

It is not at all unsual to still notice ridges and bumps on the edges of your teeth far into adulthood, and the good news about this is that getting your mamelons removed is not strictly speaking necessary. Mamelons pose no threat to your oral health, but you may still want to remove mamelons for cosmetic reasons.

The are several reasons why the mamelons along the edges of your permament teeth still haven’t worn away. Depending on how pronounced your teeth mamelons are, and whether or not you have any underlying casues that may have to be addressed (For example, having an uneven or open bite), a cosmetic dentist may suggest either one of a few different treatment options.

Mamelon removal is usually classified as a cosmetic treatment, at least in cases where no underlying jaw or teeth misalingment is to blame. 

Orthodontic treatment

If your teeth are properly aligned, your mamelons will eventually wear down as you naturally grind your teeth together over the course of several years and decades. 

However, depending on how your teeth grew in, your bite might be slightly misaligned, or your teeth may be slightly uneven. As a result, your rows of upper teeth and lower teeth may not fully come into contact with each other when you bite down. 

The solution to mamelons teeth is sometimes as simple as getting your teth straightened, so that your chewing forces are redistributed more evenly across your teeth. If this is the case for you, orthodontic treatment may be seen as a necessary dental treatment to imrove and protect your teeth, gums and general health.

Ortodontic treatment is covered by most insurance plans, and if the reason why your mamelons remain is because you have an open bite or your teeth are in need of straightening, then you’re in luck.

Tooth reshaping

Tooth reshaping is a common cosmetic procedure that is also sometimes referred to as tooth shaving, tooth recontouring or cosmetic contouring.

This is an effective way to get rid of mamelons and can be done at either a cosmetic or a regular dentist’s office. The dentist uses a small file, a disc or a drill to carefully file tdown the tooth mamelons.

The wonderful thing about tooth reshaping is that the procedure is completely painless and doesn’t require any local anesthetic. The reason for this is that the the mamemlos are made of enamel, which doesn’t contain any nerves or blood vessels.

Having said that, getting your mamelons filed down does hava tendency to temporarily increase tooth sensitivity, as well as sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. 

Tooth reshaping is a very quick procedure, and rather inexpensive. Both are a bonus as the reshaping only requires one trip to the dentist’s office, where you are likely to have to pay out of pocket.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a wonderfully simple cosmetic dentistry procedure.

If the rounded bumps on your adult incisors and middle teeth aren’t very pronounced, sometimes whitening your teeth to even out the color of your enamel can be all you need to lessen the impressio nfo their wavy edge to your teeth.

Frequently asked questions about mamelons

Why do my teeth have mamelons?

It isn’t known why permament teeth erupt with little bumps and ridges along the edges. 

The working theory is that the mamelons help the teeth break through the gums when they erupt.

What age should mamelons go away?

There is no hard and fast rule about when you should have worn the mamelons off your teeth.

Some wear their mamelons away much sooner than others, but by age 25, most adults will have worn away the mamelons on their teeth more or less completely.

Do mamelons on teeth go away?

In most cases, yes, teeth mamelons will eventually go away by themselves as a result of you using your teeth to bite and chew.

Should I remove mamelons?

Not if you don’t mind the way they look. 

Mamelons aren’t dangerous to your oral health, so there is no practial reason for you to have them removed, other than simply not liking them visually. 

Getting teeth mamelons removed is usually considered cosmetic dentistry, unless the underlying reasons why you haven’t worn them off is that your bite is uneven, which will require orthodontic treatment to correct.

Final thought

Mamelons on teeth is something most of us associated with a child’s smile, but some people have mamelons on their teeth far into adulthood. In some cases, mamelons on teeth many never go away on their own.

Fortunately, there are several different treatment options available to help you get rid of mamelons if you don’t like how they look on your teeth. If you don’t have an underlying bite problem that will have to be corrected, treatment is usually as simple matter of getting the mamelons filed down, sometimes with the additional step of whitenng your teeth in order to even out the color of your teeth and get rid of any impression of bumps and ridges.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.