Shark's Teeth Symptoms and How to Treat - Fresh Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

May 29, 2024

Ectopic eruption, sometimes known as "shark teeth", is a common dental condition that occurs when a child's permanent teeth come in behind their baby teeth. This condition most commonly affects the lower front teeth, but it can also occur in other parts of the mouth.


Symptoms of ectopic eruption are usually rare but may include pain, swelling, and inflammation in the affected area. The child may also have difficulty biting or chewing, and their baby teeth may appear loose or unstable. In some cases, the permanent teeth may grow in at an angle, causing them to push against the baby teeth and causing discomfort.


A pediatric dentist can diagnose ectopic eruption by performing a thorough examination of the child's mouth. This may involve taking x-rays or using other diagnostic tools to assess the position of the permanent teeth and the condition of the surrounding tissues. Please only contact your local dentist under the following circumstances:

1. Your child is experiencing pain or discomfort.

2. Brushing and flossing causes pain in the affected area.

3. Swelling around the gums or any signs of infection.

4. A TOP front adult tooth is growing in behind the baby tooth.


Treatment for ectopic eruption depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the child. In most cases, the baby teeth will eventually fall out on their own, allowing the permanent teeth to come in properly. Encourage your child to "wiggle" the baby tooth on his or her own. If the tooth does not come out on its own within a month, you can make an appointment with your pediatric dentist to evaluate if an extraction is necessary. However, if the permanent teeth are severely impacted, the dentist may need to remove the baby teeth to make room for them. If the child is experiencing discomfort, the dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or other treatments to help manage the pain and swelling. In some cases, the dentist may also recommend an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment to help guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions.


There are several steps parents can take to help prevent ectopic eruption from occurring. Encouraging good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help keep the child's teeth and gums healthy and reduce the risk of dental problems. It is also important to schedule regular dental checkups to monitor the child's oral health and identify any potential issues early on.