Baby Teeth in Adulthood

You do not usually associate baby teeth with adulthood but there are people who retain their baby or 'milk teeth' as they grow up. They will have two or more of these teeth alongside their permanent teeth.

Is this unusual?

No, as there are people who have milk teeth even into their 40's so it is not unusual. The normal pattern is for the milk teeth to fall out, making room for the adult teeth. This starts from the age of 6 years old. By the time a child reaches their teens they should have a full complement of adult teeth.

But things don't always go to plan.

This means that someone can reach adulthood with their permanent teeth, and, a couple of milk teeth to accompany them.

Causes of baby teeth in adulthood

One possible cause is that there is no permanent tooth waiting to replace the milk tooth. Usually the milk teeth fall out to make way for the permanent teeth which are situated underneath these.

But in this situation there is no adult tooth to break through which is why the baby tooth stays in place.

Another cause is that of a permanent tooth waiting to break through but has never done so. This may be due to awkward positioning so that it is unable to push through the gum and displace the baby tooth.

So the baby tooth above it remains in place.

Treatment for baby teeth in adulthood

This type of problem requires the services of an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dentist who specialises in treating misaligned or crowded teeth. He or she also deals with cases of missing teeth or where someone has too many teeth.

Too many teeth can also apply to someone with baby teeth as well as permanent teeth.

The orthodontist can reposition a permanent tooth which is out of place which will enable it to break through the gum. The other option is to remove the baby tooth to enable the permanent tooth to push through.