Sometimes adults retain their baby teeth. Although the problem is uncommon, you may actually know someone with a full mouth of teeth, but one or more little ones in between teeth of regular adult size. Most of us start to lose our baby teeth around 5 years of age up to 12 years, but why do some adults end up stuck like this with one or more primary teeth?
There are two potential answers. One is that a person keeps a baby tooth because there is no permanent tooth in line to replace it. This rare condition is called hypodontia, and it affects only a small percentage people. Normally, we all develop our permanent teeth, but in some cases they simply fail to grow. Without a permanent tooth to push it out, the baby tooth stays put and keeps it’s root. Genetics likely plays a part in this phenomena. It is also more common for this to happen in women than in men.
The second reason for keeping a primary tooth is that the adult tooth may be misaligned in the jaw. It’s in the jaw, but it never pushes the baby tooth out of place. In this case, the baby tooth must first be removed and then the permanent tooth is pulled down from the jaw using orthodontics. With this assistance, the problem is eventually resolved and the smile is complete.
Concerns for Adults with Baby Teeth
If you’re among the few that have one or more baby teeth into adulthood, it’s even more important to take good care of your teeth! Keep your appointments with the Yuba City Dentistry Group for check-ups every six months. Our dentist monitors retained baby teeth closely so you can keep them. A natural tooth, even a baby one, is better than a fabricated replacement, in most cases. Some retained baby teeth do not have a deep root structure to anchor them, so we may recommend replacement with an implant.
If you still have baby teeth into adulthood, contact the Yuba City Dentistry Group for a consultation to help decide the best course of action. Our goal is always your dental health and giving you a quality smile!