Typically, your child should start to lose some of their baby teeth when they are approximately 6 or 7 years old. The process of shedding baby teeth takes years to complete and usually finishes around the age of 12 or 13. However, there are some children who have difficulty shedding their baby teeth. In these cases, permanent teeth can grow in around the baby teeth, resulting in two rows of teeth or severe overcrowding. If your child is not losing their baby teeth as expected, your dentist will have to find out why and fix the issue in order to allow the permanent teeth to come in properly. Following are three reasons why your child might be holding on to their baby teeth.
Missing or Extra Permanent Teeth
Baby teeth fall out as permanent teeth form and push them out of place. If a permanent tooth fails to form under the base of a primary tooth, that tooth will likely stay in place and not fall out. Similarly, if there are too many permanent teeth trying to form under the gums, they may get hung up on each other and not be able to grow enough to push out the smaller baby teeth.
Improper Tooth Alignment and Crowding
In some cases, permanent teeth grow normally but do not line up properly with the baby teeth above. When this happens, an adult tooth can sprout out somewhere near a baby tooth without pushing it out, resulting in two teeth where there should only be one. While this occurrence usually doesn't cause any permanent problems, it can lead to crowding and misalignment. For this reason, most dentists like to remove the baby tooth, which allows the permanent tooth to come in properly.
Medical Conditions and Other Causes
In rare cases, baby teeth do not fall out due to medical reasons. Conditions such as Vitamin D resistant Rickets, Downs Syndrome, Hypothyroidism and Hypopituitarism can cause delayed tooth loss. Some of these conditions can also result in premature tooth loss. So, it's important to have any abnormal loss or lack thereof investigated by a medical professional.
Baby teeth hang around for several different reasons. If your child has not lost their baby teeth and adult teeth are trying to move into place, it's a good idea to take them to your dentist to have them evaluated. Your dentist will decide on a proper course of action for your child's particular case.
For more information, contact a local dentist or visit http://www.nwidentist.com/.