Shark teeth in pediatric dentistry

What are shark teeth in kids?

Shark teeth in kids

Also known as ectopic eruption

The term “shark teeth” in pediatric dentistry comes from a fun fact about real shark’s teeth – their teeth are arranged in rows. Just like the shark, children can develop two rows of teeth.  A row of primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth.  Typically this develops on the lower front teeth in children ages 5-7.  The double row is the result of the permanent teeth erupting on the tongue side of the teeth and not dissolving the primary tooth root enough. Most of the time there is no cause for concern we just recommend that families wiggle the teeth out at home. If this develops on the top row of teeth this can more troublesome.

When should I be concerned?

Like we stated above there is not usually any cause for concern if the baby teeth are wiggly. If you notice that your child has “become a shark” and the baby teeth are not wiggly then it’s time to give us a call.

The main concern is the permanent teeth will come in too far behind the baby teeth not allowing the baby tooth root to completely dissolve. This means the permanent teeth will not move forward properly.  At this time we will recommend wiggling out the baby teeth here at the office because more than likely that baby tooth will stick around for a while. Once the baby teeth are out of the way the child’s tongue will move the permanent teeth back into appropriate position. This scenario is also after referred to as “crowding.”

Shark Teeth Case Study:

Pre-Op Shark Teeth

Pre-Op: The permanent teeth failed to push out the primary incisors – meaning the baby teeth never wiggled out on their own. Note how the permanent incisors take up the space of the four primary incisors in this photo.

Post-Op: Four baby incisors we removed to create space for the permanent teeth to drift to their proper position. This photo was taken eleven months after the extraction.

Post-Op Shark Teeth, 11 Months later

Learn More:

Would you like to learn more about shark teeth in kids and crowding? Give us a call (843)216-5879! We love visiting with little sharks and helping them become humans again!

Schedule at Kids Teeth