Shark teeth is a term usually used to describe the case where permanent adult teeth start growing behind the baby teeth of a child before they fall out. This leads to the creation of a double row of teeth, usually in the lower incisors, but there are cases where shark teeth can occur in the upper teeth as well.
These cases are usually concerning for parents, who will often wonder how shark teeth will impact the long-term dental health of their child. If your child experiences shark teeth, here is everything you need to know about them.
Usually, when the adult teeth are ready to come out, the roots of the baby teeth start to weaken, making them easier to pull out of the socket. The children’s teeth may start to get increasingly more wiggly, to the point where the baby tooth can be extracted with just a gentle pull.
In cases of shark teeth, the roots of the baby teeth remain too strong, and the baby tooth stays in place even as the adult teeth erupt.
A lot of the time, no treatment is necessary for shark teeth at all! As the adult tooth continues to erupt, the baby tooth root weakens and falls out easily, leaving the permanent tooth enough space to grow.
However, if you notice your child is showing signs of shark teeth, you should take them to a pediatric dentist for a consultation. Based on an assessment, the dentist can recommend the best steps to ensure your child’s permanent teeth grow properly.
For example, if the permanent tooth is not fully erupted yet, they may only recommend gently wiggling the baby tooth to encourage them to fall out faster, making better room for the adult teeth. Or, if the permanent teeth have erupted more and are maybe at the same height as the baby tooth, the dentist could extract the baby tooth during the appointment.
It really depends on the specific case of your child. Shark teeth don’t usually lead to major dental issues, and if there are some alignment problems caused by them, there are several teeth straightening measures the dentist can recommend to fix it and improve the appearance and health of your child’s teeth.
If you notice your child’s permanent teeth are erupting before their baby teeth fall out, come visit Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Our caring and friendly staff is here to make sure all your child’s dental needs are properly taken care of, and we can help determine the best strategy to address your child’s baby teeth.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Maddy Goodman or Dr. Heather Sholander today, or call us directly at (301) 664-4220 to find out more about us.