Shark Teeth In Children: What Should Parents Do?

Dentist Blog

Sometimes you might be a little envious of what animals can do. Wouldn't it be great to be able to fly like a bird? How awesome would it be to sleep all day like a koala? Or to have multiple rows of teeth like a shark? Many sharks have multiple rows of teeth, generally all with shallow roots, and if a tooth is damaged or lost, there are numerous teeth waiting to take over. Humans aren't quite so lucky, and you only get two sets of teeth—your primary baby (deciduous) teeth, and your secondary adult (permanent) teeth. So what does it mean when your child develops shark teeth?

The Second Row of Teeth

In relation to human dentistry, shark teeth is an informal term, describing a condition that can appear during your child's mixed dentition phase. Mixed dentition occurs during dental exfoliation, which is when baby teeth are shed and replaced with adult teeth, so your child has a combination of primary and secondary teeth for a brief period. Instead of an erupting adult tooth dissolving the root structure of a baby tooth and emerging in the same site, shark teeth in children is when adult teeth erupt behind existing baby teeth, creating a new row of teeth. 

A Minor, Temporary Concern

Shark teeth in children are typically only a minor, temporary concern, and it can be an overstatement to call it a problem. In most cases, it's little more than a clinical curiosity. Both sets of teeth are functional, although your child will not have two sets for long. Even when adult teeth develop behind baby teeth, your child's baby teeth will still loosen and detach—with their permanent teeth ready to take over. 

Talk to Your Family Dentist

It's wise to schedule an appointment with your family dentist. In many cases, no action is required, and you will probably just be advised to be patient. In some instances, such as when the eruption of an adult tooth failed to effectively dissolve a baby tooth's root structure, extraction can be required. The same applies if the second row of teeth creates a physical obstruction that makes cleaning both sets of teeth difficult. This extraction is perfectly routine, and there's no risk to your child's permanent teeth, as the extraction only occurs when the adult tooth has begun to erupt. 

Shark teeth in children generally isn't a complication, and in any event, it's very simple to correct if intervention should be in your child's best interests. To learn more, contact your family dentist today. 


27 September 2021

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.