It’s a petrifying experience, seeing your child’s permanent teeth erupting behind their baby teeth. You’ll worry if it’s normal, and you’ll probably ask if it’s alright for the permanent teeth to erupt that way and yes, that is okay.
While not normal, it is okay for the permanent teeth to erupt before the milk tooth falls out. If this happens, the permanent tooth that’s already erupted will slowly make the roots of the milk teeth weaker, eventually leading them to fall off on their own. Eventually, the permanent tooth will move into the space that was once occupied by the permanent teeth.
As you can see, no harm done.
This occurrence happens mostly in the lower front teeth and in kids who are six years old and is referred to as “lingually erupting mandibular incisors”, or you can simply refer to it as shark teeth. This may also happen to the upper molars, usually in children aged 11.
Why “Shark Teeth” Occurs
There’s not an exact explanation as of yet to explain why shark teeth happens, but it may be because of the following reasons:
- It may be because the roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve normally like the permanent teeth do. This leads to the permanent teeth erupting from behind them because it’s where there’s the least resistance and they can emerge easily.
- There’s also the possibility that it occurs because of the overcrowding that takes place in the jaws.
- There also dentists that believe that such an occurrence is a deviation and all but ensures that the teeth aren’t going to grow naturally.
Is It a Threat?
Not much really, as around 1 out of 10 kids encounter this sort of problem. Also, since the baby teeth eventually fall in time, there’s little need for professional intervention. However, dentists may have to intervene if the baby teeth do not fall on their own, an occurrence known as “retained baby teeth”.
Consulting a Dentist
It is a good idea to go to the dentist to ask about shark teeth, but it isn’t exactly necessary. Not immediately, that is.
What’s important is that you check your child’s shark teeth and monitor it closely. If the baby teeth fall out on their own, which usually happens after a few days or weeks, then it’s all good and the permanent tooth should slowly shift forward to its properly place.
If, however, the baby teeth do not fall off, you’ll want to take your child to the dentist to see if your child suffers from “retained baby teeth”. Again, it’s not an alarming problem, and the dentist may only have to remove the baby teeth to give the permanent teeth enough space to move forward to its proper place.
In any case, shark teeth aren’t something that you’ll need to worry needlessly about. It also does not ensure that your child’s teeth do not grow naturally. Rather, shark teeth is a simple problem that may resolve on its own or if necessary, with the intervention of your child’s dentist.
If you’re worried about the way your children’s teeth are erupting, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.gmdental.com for more information regarding pediatric dentistry.