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Is It Possible Not to Lose All Your Baby Teeth?

toddlers mouth with 2 small teeth

Losing your baby teeth and having them replaced by adult teeth is part of the progression to adulthood we have all come to expect – but this is not the case for everyone. On rare occasions, teeth can fail to fall out, and this can cause problems for your oral health as you get older.

This condition is known as retained baby teeth. Retained baby teeth usually fail to fall out because there was no tooth in place behind it to push it through. However, if the teeth remain and the adult teeth move in alongside the baby teeth, this could lead to overcrowding.

Most children will have lost all of their baby teeth by the age of 12, but some people will see one or two baby teeth remain in place into adulthood, in some cases the number is even higher.

What causes retained baby teeth

What causes retained baby teeth?

The cause of retained baby teeth is often hypodontia where there is no tooth growing behind to push it out.

Another cause of retained baby teeth is when it has become fused to the bone restricting movement.

Other reasons can include the adult tooth growing at an angle that obstructs, rather than aids, movement, as well as an infection or an impact that has damaged the tooth.

If you suspect you have retained baby teeth, you should book a consultation with your dentist. They can then use an X-ray to determine the underlying cause of your retained baby teeth and decide if this something that requires intervention.

Do retained baby teeth need to be removed?

Do retained baby teeth need to be removed?

It is not always the case that retained baby teeth need to be taken out. If there is an adult tooth behind it, the tooth will generally need to be removed to allow that one to erupt.

However, if there is no tooth in place the retained tooth could be left in the mouth, provided it is not causing any problems in regard to eating, dental structure or maintaining hygiene. If the retained baby tooth is causing overcrowding or the teeth are overlapping, removal might be the best bet.

Obviously teeth play an important part in appearance; if baby teeth are seen to be a problem aesthetically then a patient may choose to have them removed.

Baby teeth are typically smaller than adult teeth, so your smile could look asymmetrical if you leave the baby teeth in place. However, a gap in your smile could be more damaging to your confidence, so you may need to consider further treatment to address this issue.

Treatment for retained baby teeth

Treatment for retained baby teeth

Due to the impact they have on the formation of permanent teeth, retained baby teeth can have a major impact on the development of teeth, often causing large gaps and misalignment.

This can cause long-term problems if left untreated including decay. Treatment for retained baby teeth is dependent on the cause of the problem to an extent.

If you have retained baby teeth because of bone fusion, and there is a tooth trying to grow behind it that is blocked, it is likely that the baby tooth will need to be removed.

If there is no tooth in place behind the retained baby tooth, then this kind of tooth can be left in place, provided it allows correct function and looks acceptable. Treatment can also be carried out to build the tooth up to make it align with the adult teeth.

What problems could I face with retained baby teeth

What problems could I face with retained baby teeth?

Issues with retained baby teeth are usually down to aesthetic imperfections. You could also face issues if the tooth is preventing an adult tooth from emerging. And finally, you could face issues with your bite if your teeth are not all the same size.

In the worst case, you could face infections if the adult tooth partially emerges and becomes impacted. This could lead to a painful abscess that needs to be addressed.

What should I do if I still have my baby teeth?

If you suspect that you still have your baby teeth and you’re worried about the impact on your oral health, it’s important to find out the cause of the issue.

In some cases, you may have all of your adult teeth but some of your teeth look a little smaller. In this instance, composite bonding may be recommended to build up the size of the tooth to improve function and aesthetics.

Where teeth are failing to erupt and push the tooth out, dentists will use a range of treatments to encourage growth, taking each case on its merits.

It is important to maintain regular dental appointments so that any problems with the development of adult teeth are picked up as early as possible.

If you are concerned about retained baby teeth or any other dental problems please contact Bhandal Dental Surgery.

Call us now to make an appointment

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