Posted on 11/2/2019 by Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry
Shark teeth are completely normal and does not mean your child is morphing into a tiger shark. Children typically start losing teeth between the ages of 5 and 7. This process begins when permanent teeth start to erupt and reabsorb the primary(baby) tooth, causing the baby tooth to become loose.
Definition Shark teeth is a term used to describe the situation when a child’s permanent teeth start to grow in before she loses her baby teeth. If a baby tooth is in the way, the permanent tooth simply sprouts up behind it. This gives the child two rows of teeth at once. The nickname comes from the fact that sharks also have a double row of teeth. Although shark teeth are most common with the lower incisors, they can also happen when the upper incisors or primary molars grow in.
Cause As youngsters grow, their permanent teeth usually dissolve the roots of their baby teeth. Once the root is nearly gone, a baby tooth gets loose. Eventually, it will fall out, and many children accelerate the process by wiggling it and pulling on it. Then the permanent tooth can grow in the empty spot. With shark teeth, the root doesn’t dissolve quickly enough. The baby tooth stays in place, and the permanent tooth works its way up in the space behind it.
Assessment Shark teeth often don’t need any treatment. If a permanent tooth hasn’t come in all the way and the baby tooth is getting progressively looser, you don’t have to worry about it because the situation will probably resolve on its own. If the new tooth continues to grow in and the baby tooth doesn’t loosen, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Richmond or Dr. Stevens.