All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

December 5th, 2021

My child lost teeth a long time ago and no adult teeth have come in. Why is that?  That is a question that I often get from parents.

Here are 5 things that could be going on:

  1. If the jaws are too small, sometimes one or more teeth cannot come into the mouth simply because there’s not enough room.
  2. Another reason could be that a tooth is trying to erupt, but it gets off course. It’s simply not erupting in the place it’s supposed to. As a result, it often can get stuck. This is common with upper canine teeth.
  3. Very often, the jaws simply do not grow enough to accommodate all 32 teeth to erupt in the mouth. Therefore, some teeth can become impacted, or stuck under the gum. This is very common with wisdom teeth.
  4. Sometimes people have extra teeth! In dental terms, we call them supernumerary teeth. These teeth usually never develop into a full tooth, but even with partial development, they get in the way of other teeth breaking through.
  5. Finally, one of the most common reasons that a tooth cannot erupt in the mouth is that it is simply missing! We sometimes do not have enough genetic material to have every one of our teeth develop. In a case like this, often the baby tooth stays in place much longer than normal, because it has no adult tooth to push it out.

The mystery of these 5 reasons is always solved with a panoramic x-ray, so hopefully next Christmas you won’t need to wish for your two front teeth!

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