Understanding Shark Tooth with Montshire Pediatric Dentistry

Shark Tooth (Ectopic Eruption)

It’s not uncommon for parents to notice a new tooth erupting behind a baby tooth, often referred to as a “shark tooth.” This condition, known as ectopic eruption, simply means that a tooth is coming in at a different place in the dental arch than usual. Here's what you need to know about managing this situation.

What to Do:

  • Check Tooth Mobility: Determine if the baby tooth is loose or nearly ready to fall out. If it is, encourage your child to wiggle the tooth to help it come out naturally.
  • Monitor Eruption Pattern: Keep an eye on the permanent tooth’s position and eruption progress. If the baby tooth is not mobile and the permanent tooth is significantly erupted, it may need assistance.​
  • Maintain Oral Hygiene: Ensure your child continues to brush and floss around the erupting tooth and the baby tooth to prevent plaque buildup and maintain good oral health. ​

When to Seek Treatment

If the baby teeth are loose or nearly exfoliated, typically, children can wiggle them out on their own without any issues. However, if the permanent tooth is significantly erupted and the baby tooth shows limited or no mobility, it’s advisable to seek a professional evaluation. Please call us to schedule a visit. Our dentist will assess the situation and may gently wiggle the baby tooth to encourage a better eruption pattern for the permanent tooth.