Tooth eruption refers to the emergence of a tooth through the gums and into the mouth. Tooth eruption in children tends to loosely follow a common growth schedule, as published by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In general, parents tend to see a baby’s first tooth anywhere between four and fifteen months of age. Toddlers should have all twenty baby teeth present in the mouth between two and three years of age. Subsequently, permanent teeth usually begin to erupt into the mouth by six years of age. If you are noticing that your child isn’t hitting their marks, it isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. In some cases, children can be “late bloomers” which is normal. Yet, it’s important to be wary that while few and far between, there are cases where delayed tooth eruption signals other health issues.

What Causes Delays in Tooth Eruption?

Tooth eruption may be delayed for several reasons, including (but not limited to) the following:

  1. A family trait: Sometimes when a parent and/or sibling have both experienced delayed tooth eruption, it is due to a trait that just runs in the family. This is a very common cause for delayed tooth eruption.
  2. Genetic developmental disorders: Down’s Syndrome, hypopituitarism, and other genetic disorders that impact physical development may slow down the eruption of teeth.
  3. Nutritional deficiencies: When children are vitamin D deficient and/or not getting enough nutrients, they may have slower growth tendencies.
  4. Dental conditions: Infections, poor spacing in the mouth, and/or deformities within the mouth impact the tooth’s eruption causing delays and sometimes the need for extraction(s).
  5. Low birth weight and/or premature birth: Studies have shown that babies with a low birth weight and babies that are born prematurely may experience delays in tooth eruption.

What Could Delayed Tooth Eruption Tell Us About A Child’s Overall Health?

Delayed tooth eruption may signal certain health concerns and/or indicate future dental issues, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Increased need for orthodontic treatment
  • Undiagnosed genetic disorder(s)
  • Undiagnosed nutritional deficiencies—which could delay further growth and development
  • Possible signal for delayed development in other areas of the body

If you suspect that your child is being affected by delayed tooth eruption, make sure to schedule a pediatric dental appointment for a proper evaluation. Advanced Children’s Dentistry uses the latest in dental technology to provide your child with the safest, least invasive and most comfortable dental care possible. Schedule your child’s dental appointment at 516-758-KIDS today.

infographic of delayed tooth eruption in kids

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