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Home For Patients Dental Blog What to Do About Shark Teeth

What to Do About Shark Teeth

Palo Alto, CA
Posted on 9/21/2020 by Shiv Sharma, DDS
Image of a patient's mouth getting worked on at Palo Alto Oral Health.What should you do about shark teeth? If you asked most people that question, they may answer with something like “make them into a necklace.” If you ask us this question, though, we're going to immediately think of the dental condition rather than the film Jaws.

Shark teeth occur when a child has a permanent tooth come in before their baby tooth falls out. The permanent tooth pushes in behind the baby tooth, creating a double row of teeth. This can happen with any tooth, although it's more common with the lower ones.

What Causes It?

In a normal case, the roots of a baby tooth dissolve so that the tooth falls out. The permanent tooth then erupts from the gums in the same space. If the roots of the baby tooth aren't dissolved correctly or quickly enough, though, the permanent tooth comes in behind it. It doesn't erupt in the correct position because of the baby tooth, leading to some issues.

Shark teeth can occur anywhere between around six years old and eleven or twelve years old. This is the time period when a child loses their baby teeth and grow their permanent ones.

Treating Shark Teeth

In some cases, there's no need for treatment at all. If the baby tooth is already somewhat loose, it's often best to simply let nature take its course and wait for it to fall out. The permanent tooth will usually come in correctly once the baby tooth is gone.

If the baby tooth doesn't fall out, though, the permanent tooth will come in behind it rather than push it out. This leaves the baby tooth fully implanted in the mouth. That's when you need to schedule an appointment with us. We will have to assess the situation at a dental exam and remove the baby tooth surgically so that it doesn't present a problem later. The permanent tooth should then slowly move into its correct position.

If your child is dealing with a shark tooth, you should call us at (650) 321-9693 to schedule a consultation. It's always better for us to look at what's going on as early as possible.

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health. Give us a call at (650) 321-9693 .

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2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1
Palo Alto, CA 94306-2548

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Palo Alto Oral Health | paloaltooralhealth.com | (650) 321-9693
2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1, Palo Alto, CA 94306
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