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Common Issues With Permanent Tooth Eruption In Children: A Dentist Explains

Common Issues With Permanent Tooth Eruption In Children: A Dentist Explains undefined

Children undergo practically constant growth. This process can be most evident in their teeth, where parents are able to observe visible transformation at a rapid pace. As their bodies are always adapting to ever-changing demands, complications can sometimes occur.

For example, as children shed their baby teeth before their adult teeth come in, there is the potential for dental abnormalities to crop up.

 

illustration showing children's teeth growth

A DoctorxDentist reader wanted to know what measures she needed to take for her 6-year-old, who had baby teeth that didn't drop, causing her emerging two adult front teeth to grow out crooked. Dentist Dr Jaclyn Toh was kind enough to lay out a detailed response for the mother. Here's what she had to say.

Abnormal formation of adult teeth cannot be controlled

child smiling at camera


If adult teeth develop in abnormal positions within the jaw bone, this cannot be controlled. In some instances, this may still happen even if the baby teeth dropped out in time. There are, however, several preventive measures that may reduce the chances of abnormal growth. [1]

A lack of jaw space is a common factor

child showing her teeth and jaw


One of the most prominent causes of crooked adult teeth is insufficient space in the jaw, which means that there is a lack of space for the teeth to erupt into. [2]

A loss of space early on can cause deformation

smiling girl in a santa hat


Sometimes, baby teeth are lost due to severe decay or premature exfoliation before the adult tooth is ready to erupt. In these cases, adjacent teeth (baby or adult) could drift into empty spaces and occupy areas that should have been reserved for permanent successors of lost baby teeth. [3]

An undersized jaw can lead to similar issues

boy smiling at camera


Some children grow adult teeth that are simply too large to fit into the jaw neatly. This, in turn, also leads to abnormalities in growth patterns. [4]

Undersized jaws can be detected early

closeup of a boy smiling at the camera


By taking careful measurements of the teeth present in the mouth of the child, and comparing them with the measurements from a panoramic X-ray, undersized jaws can be identified early on.

In addition, a lateral cephalogram (a special X-ray that shows the skull in profile) can also allow for a precise assessment of developing jaws. From there, certain growth pattern predictions can be made and action can be taken. [5]

Growth modification appliances can resolve space issues

jaw expander in a child's mouth


If a child hasn't reached puberty yet, there's a chance that improvements can be made to allow for better spacing that is available in the jaws. This can be achieved through the use of growth modification appliances (which guide proper jawbone formation). Palatal expanders and lip bumpers are also good examples of such appliances. Consult your dentist about possibly using these solutions. [6]

Sometimes, treatment is required earlier than usual

a dental chair


This applies particularly for conditions such as retroclined (backward tipping) upper incisors, which could prevent the lower jaw from developing normally. This is also needed for underbites which could cause a permanent skeletal abnormality to develop later on. [7]

Precise timing for treatments is determined by various factors

a child at a dentist


These factors include the child's mental maturity (which determines the ability to cooperate with treatment) and the level of oral hygiene found in each patient. Also, the decay rate or decay that has been successfully controlled need to be taken into account and the patient must commit to multiple dental visits (so there may be an interference with extra-curricular activities). [8]

a child's teeth closeup

Ultimately, troublesome tooth formation found in children can be managed. With early identification and quick action by parents and dentists, you can find ways to improve your child’s dental growth as long as you seek appropriate medical advice in time.

 

 

Would you like to ask any related health questions? 

You can Ask A Doctor right away, or view the complete list of DoctorxDentist Sessions.

 

References:

1. Ceatus Media Group LLC. Genetic Dental Abnormalities: Types and Symptoms Consumer Guide To Dentistry. 2019. Accessed March 2019.

2. WebMD. Dental Health With Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bites. WebMD. 2019. Accessed March 2019.

3. WebMD. Preventing Tooth Decay WebMD. 25 January 2017. Accessed March 2019.

4. Tracey Sandilands. Primary Dentition: What To Expect Of Baby Teeth Colgate. 2019. Accessed March 2019.

5. Shawn Watson. Cephalometric or Ceph X-Ray . VeryWell Health. 7 September 2017. Accessed March 2019.

6. WebMD. How Teeth Change With Age. WebMD. 2019. Accessed March 2019.

7. Declan T Millett, Susan J Cunningham, Kevin D O'Brien, Philip E Benson, Cesar M de Oliveira. Highlighted review: Orthodontic treatment for deep bite and retroclined upper front teeth in children. Cochrane Oral Health. 2017. Accessed March 2019.

8. Mayo Clinic Staff. Oral health: A window to your overall health. Mayo Clinic. 1 Nov 2018. Accessed March 2019.

234 views 25 Mar 2019 Medically reviewed by Dr Jaclyn Toh on 17 Apr 2019.
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