Causes Of Delayed Tooth Eruption In Babies: Is It Harmful?

Tooth eruption is a unique process of development in humans. Studies indicate the exact mechanism of tooth eruption is not fully understood. But few aspects are still very well known such as the period of primary and secondary dentition and the number of milk teeth and permanent teeth etc. Normally a newborn infant has teeth already hidden in the gums. But it takes usually 6 months for the first tooth to erupt from the gum. The front two teeth in lower jaw emerge first. The next in line is eruption of four front teeth on the upper side.

Gradually by the time the child reaches 3 years all 20 primary teeth have emerged. There may be variance of tooth eruption from one child to another. In some there is late dentition but this should not be a concerning problem. But if the child has no teeth by the age of 15 to 18 months then he should be consulted to a pediatric dentist as there may be an underlying cause for delayed tooth eruption.

What Causes Delayed Teeth Eruption In Babies?

There are numbers of causes for delayed tooth in children.

  • Genetic inheritance: Genes play a crucial role in several developmental stages in children including eruption of teeth.
    There may simply a family trait of this problem. If any of the parents had delayed dentition in their childhood, there is possibility of their child having delayed eruption of teeth as well as several other milestones.
  • Premature births: If the child is born prematurely or before nine months he may have delayed milestones which also include delayed dentition.
  • Low birth weight: Babies with low birth weight are more susceptible to late developing dentition. There may be associated enamel defect in such children.
  • Genetic defects: Child suffering from genetic diseases such as amelogenesis imperfecta or odontodysplasia is known to have late dentition and poorly formed teeth.
  • Nutritional deficiency: Malnourished children are known to have late eruption of tooth.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Children suffering from vitamin D deficiency leading to rickets and osteoporosis have known history of late eruption of tooth.
  • Medical conditions: Children suffering from congenital hypothyroidism, Down’s syndrome have delayed dentition.

Can Delayed Tooth Eruption Cause Harm To The Baby:

Delayed dentition in majority of cases is not a concerning problem. Although parents become too anxious when their baby has delayed tooth eruption. However, such children are known to have higher risk of dental problems later in their life. Majority of these children on becoming adult need orthodontic treatment much earlier in life.

Besides this, children need to eat food with the help of their teeth. If there is delayed tooth eruption, such children will not eat properly and suffer from nutritional deficiencies. This may affect their overall growth and personality.

Milk teeth are also guide for permanent teeth that usually starts erupting at the age of 6 to 8 years. If there is delay in tooth eruption than the normal average period, talk to the pediatric dentist. At the same time parents should make all efforts to see that their child is sufficiently nourished.