A new story has surfaced about an eight-year-old boy, affectionately referred to as “Jaws,” who has both his baby teeth and adult teeth taking up space in his mouth at the same time. Although this occurrence is rare and this is an extreme case, your Kelowna dentists explain what ‘shark teeth’ are, what causes them, and what treatments are available.
What are ‘shark teeth’?
‘Shark teeth’ is a term used to define the mouth of a child who has both baby and adult teeth. The teeth grow in two separate rows and generally resemble the mouth of a shark.
What causes ‘shark teeth’?
‘Shark teeth’ occur in children around the time their adult teeth begin to develop. In most cases, the adult tooth will begin to grow and sprout up under and existing baby tooth. This will actually push the baby tooth out of the child’s gums. You’ve seen this before when a child wiggles and pulls on the tooth so that the tooth fairy will swoop in and leave behind some money or a treat.
In some cases, the adult tooth will actually grow in behind the baby tooth. Since it’s not forcing the baby tooth out of its way as it moves in, both teeth will stay in the mouth. If the adult tooth growth is close enough to the baby tooth, it might just take a bit longer for the baby tooth to wiggle its way free of the gums. As long as there’s a little bit of movement in the baby tooth’s position, it will eventually come out on its own.
In most uncommon cases, the adult tooth will pop up a little further away from the baby tooth, and this will stop the baby tooth from falling out on its own. In the unlikely situation of this happening, it’s best to chat with your Kelowna dentists about treatment options.
What treatments are available for “shark teeth”?
When dealing with stubborn “shark teeth,” the most common treatment is tooth extraction. Once the baby tooth is removed, the adult tooth should slide into position on its own. If this doesn’t occur, the child may require retainers or braces as they get older. We advise booking a consultation with your local Kelowna dental clinic to determine which treatment options are best for your child.
Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!
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