If you have any questions or concerns about how your child’s teeth are developing, schedule an appointment with us today. We strive to provide the highest quality of pediatric dental care in a comfortable environment.
As a parent, you always want what is best for your child. As you watch them grow and develop, you want to make sure they are growing and developing correctly. This is true when it comes to their teeth.
If you notice any teeth abnormalities as your child’s teeth develop, don’t be alarmed. Dental abnormalities, such as ectopic teeth, are relatively common. In fact, as many as 40% of people develop tooth abnormalities. Both genetic and environmental factors cause teeth to grow in abnormal ways.
Types of Abnormal Teeth Growth
When a tooth grows in the wrong place, it is called an ectopic tooth. Ectopic refers to an object or organ that is growing in an unusual place. When it comes to teeth, it can mean that a tooth erupted in an abnormal location, or it can mean that a tooth grew in the right place but is misaligned. An example of this would be a canine tooth that sits too high in the gum line or points outward.
Ectopic teeth can be detected with an x-ray, even before the teeth erupt. Most ectopic teeth do not cause issues and can be left alone. Others need to be watched as they grow in, as some misaligned teeth will self-correct.
Regular dental checkups for your child are important for many reasons. For children with ectopic teeth, it is important that their dentist monitor the development as ectopic teeth can lead to problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and misalignment of other teeth. As with other dental issues, the earlier ectopic teeth are treated, the easier treatment will be.
What Are Shark Teeth?
Have you heard the term “shark teeth” used? It is one type of ectopic teeth. Shark teeth occur when a permanent tooth grows in before the primary teeth fall out. It can be one or more than one tooth. But it creates a double row of teeth, just like that of a shark. It is more commonly seen with the incisors but can also occur with the molars.
As the permanent tooth starts to grow under the primary tooth, it dissolves the baby tooth’s roots, becomes loose, and then falls out. In theory, this makes space for the permanent tooth. However, sometimes that shark tooth will grow at an angle and will either not dissolve the baby tooth’s roots or grow straight once the baby tooth has fallen out.
Treatment of shark teeth depends on whether or not the permanent tooth moves into the correct position once the primary tooth falls out. If the permanent tooth has completely erupted, but the primary tooth does not fall out, this is typically resolved by extracting the primary tooth to create space for the permanent tooth.
St. Louis Pediatric Dentistry
If you have any questions or concerns about how your child’s teeth are developing, schedule an appointment with us today. We strive to provide the highest quality of pediatric dental care in a comfortable environment. We provide children with special needs comprehensive dental care in a safe setting.
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