Understanding A Few Causes Of Over-Retained Baby Teeth

If you keep on schedule and take your child to the dentist every six months, then you may understand that the baby teeth will come out in a specific order. If they do not, then your son or daughter will have an issue called over-retained baby teeth. This basically means that the teeth are still retained in the mouth even when they are not supposed to be. If you want to know a little bit more about this issue, then keep reading to understand why it may happen.

Absence Of Permanent Teeth

The baby teeth are placeholders that keep the spots in the mouth where the adult teeth are supposed to come in. As the adult or primary teeth develop, they start to move upward into the mouth. In the process, the crowns butt up against the roots of the baby teeth. The roots disintegrate, the exposed part of the baby tooth loosens, and the tooth falls out. 

Baby teeth only come out if there is pressure on the root. If the baby tooth does not release, then there is a good chance that no pressure has been placed against the root. In other words, there is no permanent tooth pressing up against the tooth. 

The absence of a permanent tooth is one of the most common reasons why a baby tooth may be over-retained. Your child's dentist will use an x-ray image to note this. The baby tooth can be left in the mouth permanently and act as the adult tooth. It will however be smaller and shorter than the other teeth. If this is an issue, then the tooth can be crowned to make it appear more like an adult tooth.

The tooth can also be extracted, and this is a good option if the mouth is overcrowded. However, the lateral tooth on the other side of the mouth will also need to be removed to retain symmetry.

Fused Permanent Tooth

There are times when the permanent tooth will be fully formed in the jaw, but it is unable to move up into the mouth appropriately. This happens when the tooth fuses or bonds to the jawbone. Since the tooth is stuck in place, it cannot move. In this case, the tooth can be dislodged from the jaw in a surgical manner. Your child's dentist will likely need to remove the baby tooth first before this can happen.

When the fusion between the tooth and the jaw is broken, the adult tooth is left to move up into the mouth on its own. To help keep the area free for the tooth to do so, a spacer or retainer will be used. 

Contact a dentist at an office like Little Peoples Dentistry to learn more.