Do you still have a baby tooth even though all of your other adult teeth have come in? If so, don’t worry, it’s actually quite normal. There are many adults who still have at least one baby tooth left in their mouths. If you haven’t lost all your baby teeth and are not sure what to do about it, this article will help you decide.
What Causes Baby Teeth to Remain?
Absence of an Adult Toot
Kids start losing their teeth when an adult tooth grows in behind it and starts to push the baby tooth out. If your adult tooth fails to develop properly, the baby tooth will remain in place.
Infection and Trauma
Local infection can cause defects that prevent teeth from developing normally or erupting through the gum line. A blow to the head and a broken jaw that causes trauma to your mouth can also cause issues with tooth development.
The remaining baby tooth could also be a sign of a more serious condition. The development of your adult teeth can easily be affected by dental disease experienced early in life.
For an adult tooth to push through, it needs enough room to erupt. If there’s severe crowding in your mouth, there might not be space for it to push through the gum line.
A permanent tooth doesn’t just push out a baby tooth, it dissolves the root structures which helps loosens it. And when a permanent tooth below the gumline is not properly aligned, it can actually miss the roots completely and instead, erupt in front or behind the baby tooth.
It’s also possible for the baby tooth to fuse to the bone, blocking the permanent tooth from pushing through. This rare condition called dental ankylosis can also lead to further issues down the road if left untreated.
What Treatment Options are Available?
If you haven’t lost all your baby teeth, there are a few things that your dentist can do. The first option is to leave it in place. If the tooth and root are healthy, and the adult tooth below is not causing issues, it can often be left alone. The tooth will likely be smaller than the others, so if this bothers you, the dentist can use bonding or cap the tooth to improve its aesthetics. The second option is to extract the tooth. This is normally done when there is crowding or concerns with the permanent tooth below. Pulling the tooth would cause a gap in your mouth that could be otherwise filled with a bridge or implant.
The first step to deal with a retained baby tooth is to talk to your dentist at Yazdani Family Dentistry about it. We will do a comprehensive exam to determine the underlying cause and recommend a solution that’s right for you. Contact us today to set up your appointment today!