Many parents very understandably become alarmed when they look in their child’s mouth and see the new permanent teeth growing up behind the baby teeth.
Whilst this is not the most aesthetically pleasing of stages for your child’s teeth, please be assured that permanent teeth coming through behind baby teeth is not an emergency!
Ordinarily, as the permanent teeth push up, the roots of the baby teeth become dissolved due to the pressure from the erupting permanent teeth, and the baby tooth eventually falls out, allowing the permanent teeth to come in well aligned.
However, sometimes the baby teeth don’t want to leave the mouth, and the permanent teeth come in right behind them. This condition is technically known as “Lingually erupting mandibular incisors” and more commonly known as “shark teeth”.
Other theories as to why this occurs is suggested to be due to much crowding in the lower jaw, or their position is simply a slight deviation from normal and they just didn’t make it as far forward as they should have.
This has been reported to occur in approximately 10% of children at some stage. Luckily, most times this “shark tooth” appearance, and the double layer of teeth will resolve on its own with the baby teeth eventually falling out.
If your child’s shark teeth don’t resolve on their own within a couple of weeks, it would be a good idea to have your dentist take a look at what’s going on. Your child’s dentist will be able to remove the lingering baby teeth from your child’s mouth if needed, and this usually resolves the problem.
Please bear in mind that very often teeth come in pairs, so if one tooth is not coming in correctly its partner on the other side won’t either.