The problem also referred to as “shark teeth” happens when dental rows go one after another. The situation when a child has two rows of teeth is rather common in dentistry. Yet, the commonness of the phenomenon does not make it less dangerous. It is vital to understand the consequences of such a condition as well as its progression in order to find timely treatment and to prevent negative consequences.
Why can a child develop two rows of teeth?
If both baby teeth and adult teeth are growing all at once in two rows, it may be due to several reasons:
The first reason can often be found in the deficiency of solid food in child’s diet. In this case, the course of the baby teeth has not been run, as nature intended. They are all but unexposed to wearing away due to a diet of mainly soft and refined food. And when the time comes for the adult teeth to appear, the first teeth still sit tightly in child’s gums.
Genetic susceptibility is the second most common cause. But it can be a reason not only for to the simultaneous growth of both first and permanent dentition, but of two permanent rows.
If a kid has two rows of teeth, such anomaly may be due a genetically inherited development of super complete teeth. The rudiments of the future teeth are built during the prenatal development period, and some genetic defects or hereditary conditions may lead to the formation of several “sets” of dental alignments in one fetus. In most cases, the second, third, etc. sets remain in this rudimental state and are only detected by chance, during radiographic examination for some other endeixis. But sometimes the growth of the second set of teeth may be triggered by disorders in child’s immune system, serious illnesses, entering into the pubertal growth stage and so on.
Prenatal maldevelopment is another large cluster of reasons for development of a double-row dentition. Most often the reason may be mother’s having a viral disease while pregnant or it may also be an inexpedient or uncontrolled intake of some medications. One of the most dangerous (in consideration of their general availability) are lipid soluble vitamins, which the expectant mother could have taken in excess dosage. In particular, vitamins A, D and E, taken superfluously and accumulated in mother’s body, may have a teratogenic (disfiguring) effect on the fetus. Among the most common malformations is Hyperdontia (excessive number of teeth).
If my baby has two rows of teeth, what are the possible consequences? Well, ‘the more, the better’ approach is irrelevant in such situations where baby teeth or adult teeth grow in two rows. The erosion develops in several stages:
Close mutual alignment of teeth leads to the malfunctioning of both dentitions.
Putting excessive mutual pressure on each other, the teeth gradually start shifting.
As the pressure continues, the very roots of the teeth become crooked.
Eventually the teeth erode due to the chronic traumatization.
But even when the ‘shark’ teeth are at a relative distance from each other, their durability is very limited. Such position makes oral hygiene a more difficult process as well as self-purification while chewing, which leads to early and rampant baby tooth caries.
Hyperdontia is especially dangerous for children and teenagers whose occlusion formation as well as dentition and facial skull development is not yet complete. The presence of supernumerary teeth and their abnormal occlusion leads to the pressure maldistribution, which results in malformation of the abovementioned structures and caries.
If my child has 2 rows of teeth, what can be done? If the child has developed an adult tooth behind a first one still firmly sitting in a gum, the best way of treatment should be chosen by a specialist individually depending on all the revealed circumstances. The following methods are in store in the toolkit of contemporary dentistry:
As the method’s title suggests, in this case the dentist renders a decision to monitor over the developing situation without immediate interference. This approach is recommended when
the permanent tooth has only begun cutting out;
if the baby tooth already shows convincing signs of destabilization;
if it is not the first case of abnormal tooth growth in child’s medical history and in previous cases the situation was resolved without special treatment by the temporary tooth loss.
The observation may be discontinued and another measure may be opted for if:
the situation does not show any evidence over a period of 2-3 months;
the adult tooth is actively-growing, and the stable position of a baby tooth in the gum has not been changed;
the child began to show signs of smudging;
the grown super complete tooth upsets soft oral tissue;
there is a high probability of a serious dental disorder development due to Hyperdontia.
This is a comprehensive but the most effective solution of the super complete teeth problem. The doctor extracts baby teeth that disrupt the growth of permanent ones, or pulls out molars that are impossible or impractical to ‘install’ the tooth in alignment by means of orthodontic treatment.
In case of Hyperdontia, occlusion disturbance is a very common occurrence, which can be a consequence to an excessive number of teeth as well as the trouble spot. Therefore, in most cases, the measure of choice – be it a temporizing measure or a surgical one – requires installation of orthodontic structures to form anatomic bite and teeth reposition. As applicable, it may be recommended to wear removable dentoalveolar removable or non-removable structures.