At first my daughter seemed to be getting teeth early. Now she is 3 years old but only has 10 teeth. I haven’t taken her to a pediatric dentist yet because she doesn’t have many teeth. She is my first child so I know nothing about tooth development in children other than what I find online. Based on what I have researched, I think something is wrong. Shouldn’t she have more teeth? What is happening? – Shana
Shana – A baby’s first tooth usually erupts between 4 and 15 months of age. Children who are born prematurely, or who have a low birth weight, can experience delayed tooth development and eruption. At 3 years of age, a toddler should have about 20 teeth. A visit to a pediatric dentist is a smart move.
As far as appearance is concerned, the teeth of a 3-year-old toddler should be white with smooth surfaces. Spaces between the teeth are normal. Gum tissue should be smooth, pink, and firm. If a child has discolored teeth or issues with gum tissue, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist.
Delayed tooth eruption can be a result of traumatic injury, nutritional deficiency, a genetic disorder, an auto-immune disease, or some other medical condition such as pituitary or thyroid dysfunction, or anemia. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a pediatric dentist.
The treatment for delayed tooth eruption will vary, depending on the cause. Treatment may include:
- Treating the disease or condition that is delaying tooth eruption
- Surgically exposing the teeth that need to eruption
- Orthodontic traction to encourage eruption
- Creating space for tooth to erupt
- Surgery to remove any obstacles to tooth eruption
Schedule an appointment for your daughter with a pediatric dentist. Your daughter’s teeth and gums will be examined, and if necessary, your dentist will work along with your daughter’s pediatrician to determine the reason for her delayed tooth eruption.
This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.