Under normal circumstances, our baby teeth (primary teeth) fall out and are replaced by our adult teeth as we age. However, sometimes our baby teeth don’t fall out as they should. A retained baby tooth in adults can cause many problems, and they can make it difficult to chew and speak correctly and lead to gum disease. If you have baby teeth as an adult, it’s essential to see a dentist like Michael Nugent, DDS, so that they can determine the best course of treatment for you.
What are adult baby teeth?
For most of us, our primary teeth or baby teeth fall out and are replaced by our permanent teeth by the time we’re teenagers. But sometimes, baby teeth can persist into adulthood and cause several dental complications if left untreated.
The main risk of leaving adults with baby teeth untreated is complications in tooth development, such as:
- Infraocclusion: Baby teeth remain fixed while the surrounding teeth continue to erupt.
- Occlusal trauma: Teeth don’t align when you close your mouth.
- Diastema: There are gaps or spaces between your teeth.
However, some adults do not have any problems with their retained baby teeth, which truly depends on each situation.
What causes adults to retain baby teeth?
There are several different causes for adult baby teeth, including genetic conditions, environmental factors, and other health issues. Adult baby teeth remain when there are no permanent teeth behind them to push them out and other conditions such as:
- Ankylosis, a rare disorder that prevents teeth from moving because they are fused to the bone.
- Genetics, such as a family history of incomplete tooth penetration.
- Other conditions associated with tooth development, such as ectodermal dysplasia and endocrine disorders.
- Trauma to the mouth or infection.
Fortunately, there are many ways we can treat adult baby teeth if they have caused complications.
How can the dentist treat adults with retained baby teeth?
At Michael Nugent, DDS, we will work with you to develop a proper treatment plan for your over-retained baby teeth. One is to remove the baby teeth by extraction. This is often the best option for people who have a lot of baby teeth or who have baby teeth that are causing significant dental problems. Orthodontic treatment is another option for those with a misaligned baby tooth but a majority of permanent adult teeth. Another treatment option is to monitor the baby teeth to see if the root and aesthetics are stable. Healthy baby teeth generally do not cause problems, so only extract baby teeth if there is cause for concern.
Dental implants can be placed to replace those who have missing teeth from extraction. Dental implants are a great permanent tooth option for those who want to replace their teeth with something that looks and functions just like their natural teeth.
Contact Michael Nugent, DDS, If You Still Have a Baby Tooth as an Adult
If you are an adult and are concerned about baby teeth in adults, it’s important to seek treatment from a dentist like Michael Nugent, DDS. With our advanced dental technologies and years of experience treating baby teeth in adults, we can help you address any complications caused by over-retained baby teeth and develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.