What are lingually erupted teeth?

Sometimes parents complain that their children have adult incisors growing behind the lower baby incisors. This usually happens when the adult incisors erupt at age 6-7. Instead of dissolving the roots of the baby incisors fully, the adult incisors erupt behind their predecessors instead. The baby incisors may be slightly shaky but not exfoliated yet, resulting in two rows of lower front teeth. This phenomenon is also commonly to as “shark teeth” as shark have multiple rows of teeth.

Photo of lower adult incisors partially erupted and behind (lingual) to the baby incisors. Photo shared with consent of friend who asked me (Dr Yee Ruixiang) about her child’s teeth.

Should I worry?

Fret not, this situation often self-corrects when the adult incisors move forward with the help of the tongue; resorbing the roots of the baby incisors that eventually “drop out”on their own.

When should I be concerned?

You should bring your child to see a dentist, if the baby incisors continue to be firm, especially when the adult incisors are fully erupted, or at the same height as the baby incisors.

Your dentist will assess and decide if it is suitable to continue monitoring or to extract the baby incisors.

When is the best age to bring your child to a first dental visit? Check out this link.

Article contributed by Dr Yee Ruixiang, dated 13 June 2024.