While checking baby’s teeth for cavities, you notice a tiny extra tooth – she has eleven teeth on the bottom instead of the usual 10. Is this a reason to panic?
Children usually have 20 primary teeth. When these fall out, permanent teeth replace them. While the time may vary, the teeth eruption pattern and the number of teeth are, in most cases, consistent.
If a toddler has more than the usual number of teeth, dental experts may refer to the extra tooth has a “supernumerary tooth.”
What is a supernumerary tooth, and when should you worry about it?
The Case of the Extra Tooth
Cases of a supernumerary tooth are rare – only 0.8% to 3.8% of kids will have them. Experts sometimes associate the extra tooth with certain syndromes, such as a cleft lip or palate. Otherwise, children with a supernumerary tooth are healthy, and they just happen to have an additional tooth.
Now, is an extra tooth enough reason to panic?
It depends on various considerations. Dentists usually consider factors, such as whether the tooth looked normal, or if it’s crowding the child’s other teeth. Cases of supernumerary teeth, after all, greatly vary. Some people had only an extra tooth or two, while some had as much as 300 teeth crowding inside their mouth.
Dentists Know Best
The best way to tackle the situation is, of course, to bring your baby to a pediatric dentist. The pediatric dentist will then evaluate the extra tooth, find out if it erupted irregularly, or whether or not it will affect the eruption of future teeth. Sometimes, the supernumerary tooth falls unexpectedly and becomes a choking hazard. In such cases, the dentist may recommend extracting the extra tooth.
Our pediatric dentist can carefully evaluate the right course of action if we notice an irregularity in your baby’s overall dental state. We also give reliable dental care tips to help mitigate the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Bringing your child to our office as soon as they turn one year old will help set a strong foundation for good oral care.