In dentistry, a mamelon is a rounded bump on the edge of a tooth. It’s made of enamel, like the rest of the tooth’s outer covering.

Mamelons appear on some types of newly erupted teeth (teeth that have just broken through the gumline). There are three mamelons on each tooth. Together, the mamelons create a scalloped, wavy edge.

Mamelon means “nipple” in French. This refers to the way each bump protrudes from the tooth.

You might notice mamelons on the permanent teeth of children. However, it’s possible for adults to have them as well.

In this article, we’ll explain what mamelons are and why some adults have them. We’ll also discuss options for mamelon removal.

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Seen here are mamelons on the two lower central and the lateral right incisors. They occur more often in children and tend to wear down early in life. Image by Marcos Gridi-Papp/CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mamelons only appear on newly erupted incisor teeth. They’re usually found on permanent (adult) incisors, but they can show up on primary (baby) incisors too.

You have eight incisors in total. Four incisors are in the upper middle of your mouth, and four are in the lower middle.

You use your incisors to cut into food. For example, when you bite into a sandwich, you use these teeth.

Since the incisors are in the front and center of your mouth, they make up most of your smile. They’re also the most visible teeth when you talk.

It’s speculated mamelons exist to help teeth break through the gums. However, it’s generally agreed that they don’t have any clinical significance.

Typically, treatment isn’t needed for mamelons.

Most people eventually wear away the humps through normal chewing. The mamelons are smoothed out as the upper and lower front teeth come into contact.

But if your teeth are misaligned, the mamelons may not go away.

This usually happens if you have an open bite, in which the front teeth don’t vertically overlap. As a result, the front teeth don’t come into contact, and the mamelons remain in adulthood.

You may also still have mamelons if your teeth grew in late.

If you’re interested in mamelon removal, talk to a dentist. They can remove mamelons by shaving the edges of your teeth.

The treatment is a form of cosmetic dentistry. It’s known as:

  • tooth reshaping
  • tooth recontouring
  • tooth shaving
  • cosmetic contouring

This can be done in a dentist’s office. The dentist uses a file, disc, or drill to remove enamel and smooth out the edges.

The treatment is painless and doesn’t require a local anesthetic. That’s because mamelons are made of enamel and don’t contain any nerves.

Plus, the procedure is very quick. You can go home the same day, and there isn’t any recovery time.

It’s also usually inexpensive, but you might have to pay out of pocket. Since this is a cosmetic treatment, your insurance provider might not cover the cost. So it’s best to check with your provider first.

If you need to pay out of pocket, be sure to confirm the cost with your dentist before receiving treatment.

Mamelons aren’t harmful. They also don’t interfere with oral health or chewing habits.

However, you might want to remove them for aesthetic reasons. If you have mamelons and don’t like how they look, talk to a dentist about removal.

Your mamelons won’t grow back once they are removed. The removal is permanent.

Mamelons are the rounded humps on the edge of teeth. They only appear on incisors, which are the four front teeth in each jaw. These bumps don’t have a specific purpose or function.

Additionally, mamelons are most noticeable when the adult incisors first erupt. They’re usually smoothed out by chewing over time.

If your teeth aren’t properly aligned, you might still have mamelons. Talk to a dentist if you want to get them removed. They can reshape the edges of your teeth and file away the bumps.