What should I do if my 5 year old child’s tooth is growing in an abnormal position at the upper gums? (photos)
My son is 5 years old. I discovered today that he has a growing tooth at the front upper gums, which I assume is abnormal because it is not aligned. I also requested for the dentist to remove the black tooth as in the photo, but he told me that the tooth shouldn't be removed because of his young age. Why is that so, and what should I do next for my child?
Thank you for your enquiry.
I would recommend taking an X-Ray to check on a few matters:
1) If your son has all his permanent teeth and to assess their stage of development.
The upper front teeth usually erupt around 7 years of age. Early removal of the baby teeth means that your son will be without his front teeth for another 2 years, which could be why the dentist you saw was not keen to remove them. The Xray will also be able to show the root development of the permanent upper front teeth, which would tell us how soon it will be erupting.
2) To confirm if that is it is really the permanent front tooth growing out or an extra tooth.
Extra teeth (or supernumerary teeth) typically present themselves in the front area of the upper jaw. If it is an extra tooth, it will have to be removed. If it is one of the permanent teeth, I would suggest to wait until more of the front teeth erupt before embarking on some early form of orthodontic/braces treatment. I would advise seeing an orthodontist then to have it assessed.
3) Tooth decay
Your son has tooth decay on the upper front four teeth, chances are he would have decay at the back teeth/molars as well as they are harder to keep clean.
I would strongly recommend seeing a dentist or pedodontist (dentist who specializes in seeing children), and removing the badly broken down teeth, as well as treating the other teeth with decay. They would also be able to advise you on good oral habits and using the right toothpaste to fight against tooth decay.
Baby teeth are important for chewing, smiling and speaking, and most importantly, they help to preserve the space meant for the adult teeth to come through.
If they are lost too early, permanent teeth can drift into the space and this makes it difficult for other permanent teeth to come through. This will result in crooked teeth and even buried teeth as they have no space to erupt, hence we need to take care of our baby teeth as well.
Hope this helps! All the best!
Dr Geraldine Lee