What You Need To Know About 'Shark Teeth'

What You Need To Know About 'Shark Teeth'

As a parent or caregiver, you may have come across the fascinating term “shark teeth” when discussing your child’s dental health, particularly their baby teeth. But what exactly are shark teeth in kids, and why is it crucial to understand this peculiar phenomenon that can affect their little smiles? So, let’s explore the fascinating world of kids shark teeth, their potential locations, and the intriguing concept of their regrowth.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the topic of shark teeth, unraveling its mysteries and equipping you with the vital information you need to navigate this unique aspect of your child’s oral development. From exploring the underlying causes and potential complications to discussing various treatment options, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and guidance necessary to confidently address any issues related to your child’s baby tooth. If you’re wondering about shark tooth dental concerns, such as do sharks teeth grow back, we’ll address that question too.

What is Ectopic Eruption or ‘Shark Teeth’ For Children? 

Example of shark teeth also known as ectopic eruption

 The term ‘Shark Teeth’, also known as ectopic eruption, originates from the fact that sharks have 5 to 15 rows of teeth in each jaw. Actual shark teeth in kids do not have roots, do not develop cavities, and are replaced very quickly! In children, this is not the case. This condition can be identified when an adult tooth comes in behind a baby tooth that has not yet fallen  out therefore forming a second row of teeth. This occurrence happens when baby tooth roots fail to dissolve and permanent tooth is forced to erupt behind some baby tooth due to lack of space.

When it comes to shark teeth kids, these peculiar formations typically manifest in the lower incisors, although they can also emerge in other regions of the mouth, such as the upper molars. Recognizing this occurrence at an early stage is of utmost importance for parents and caregivers, as it plays a vital role in ensuring optimal dental health and alignment. By staying vigilant and scheduling regular dental check-ups, you can swiftly address this condition and avert potential complications like double row of teeth, misalignment and discomfort. Furthermore, timely intervention will help you understand when to remove shark teeth, teeth double rows and promote a healthy and harmonious oral development in your child.

There are a few places where shark teeth can develop. Ectopic Eruption can occur in the lower (front teeth) incisors; they are more common in the lower front teeth but can also occur anywhere else in the mouth such as in the upper molars.

Why Does My Child Have Two Rows of Teeth?

Shark teeth, or ectopic eruption, happens when a child has two rows of teeth due to a specific process in the mouth. Normally, as permanent tooth emerge, they dissolve the roots of the primary (baby) teeth, causing them to fall out naturally. However, sometimes the baby teeth roots don’t dissolve completely, preventing them from coming out as the permanent tooth come in.

Consequently, the permanent tooth may start to appear behind the baby teeth, creating a second row. This usually occurs when there isn’t enough space for the permanent tooth to align properly because the baby teeth are still in place. This condition can manifest in different areas of the mouth, like the front incisors or molars.

The reasons behind this occurrence vary. Sometimes, it’s a natural part of dental development, and the situation may resolve itself as the primary teeth naturally loosen and fall out, allowing the permanent tooth to take their proper positions. Other factors that can contribute to two rows of teeth include genetics, insufficient space in the mouth, delayed eruption of permanent tooth, or tooth development abnormalities.

What should I do if my child has Shark Teeth? 

If your child’s permanent tooth does not erupting correctly, having them evaluated by a pediatric dentist may be a good idea. A pediatric dentist can monitor the development of your child’s teeth and create a plan of action as a result of their findings. If you notice that your child has shark teeth or two rows of teeth, it is advisable to take the following steps:

Schedule a Dental Evaluation: Make an appointment with a pediatric dentist to have your child’s teeth evaluated. A pediatric dentist specializes in children’s dental health and can assess the situation accurately.

Monitor Development: The pediatric dentist will closely monitor the development of your child’s teeth. They will assess the positioning of the permanent tooth, the condition of the primary teeth, and any potential complications that may arise.

Follow Professional Recommendations: Based on their findings, the pediatric dentist will provide guidance and recommend the most suitable course of action. This can vary depending on the specific circumstances. They may advise waiting for the primary teeth to naturally fall out, allowing the child’s permanent teeth to align properly. Alternatively, if there are concerns about the positioning or potential complications, they may recommend extracting the affected baby teeth to facilitate the normal eruption of the child’s  permanent teeth.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Regardless of the recommended approach, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices. Encourage your child to brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss regularly. This will help prevent any oral health issues and maintain overall dental hygiene.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child to monitor their dental development and ensure any necessary interventions or treatments are provided in a timely manner.

When Do Shark Teeth Usually Develop?

Shark teeth, or ectopic eruption, typically occur during the transitional phase when a child’s primary (baby) teeth are being replaced by their permanent teeth. This phase commonly takes place between the ages of 5 and 7.

Around this age, the child’s permanent teeth begin to emerge, and the roots of the primary teeth start to dissolve, causing them to become loose and eventually fall out. However, in cases where the roots of the baby teeth do not dissolve completely, the permanent teeth may begin to erupt behind them, resulting in the appearance of two rows of teeth.

It’s important to note that the exact timing can vary from child to child. Some children may experience shark teeth earlier or later than the typical age range. Dental development is influenced by various factors, including genetics and individual variations.

Shark Teeth: Should You Worry?

If your child develops shark teeth, there’s no need to panic, as it is a relatively common occurrence during the transitional phase of dental development. While it is natural to be concerned, understanding the situation and taking appropriate steps can help address any potential issues. Here are a few key points to consider:

Monitor the Situation: Keep an eye on your child’s dental development and observe how the primary and permanent teeth begin to progress. Note if the baby teeth are becoming loose or if the permanent teeth are causing any discomfort or alignment issues.

Dental Evaluation: Schedule a visit to a pediatric dentist who can examine your child’s teeth and provide professional guidance. They will assess the specific condition of the shark teeth and determine the best course of action based on your child’s individual case.

Professional Recommendations: Based on the evaluation, the dentist may recommend different approaches. In some cases, they may suggest waiting for the primary teeth to fall out naturally as the permanent teeth exert pressure and push them out. Alternatively, if there are concerns about alignment or potential complications, they may advise extracting the retained baby teeth to allow the permanent teeth to properly align.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial for monitoring your child’s dental health. Routine visits to the dentist will enable early detection of any problems, ensuring timely intervention if necessary.

Good Oral Hygiene: Encourage your child to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. This will help prevent oral health issues and maintain overall dental hygiene.

What Happens If I Do Nothing?

If you choose to do nothing in the case of shark teeth, there is a possibility that certain complications may arise. Here are some potential consequences of not taking any action:

Misalignment: The presence of two rows of teeth can lead to misalignment issues as the permanent teeth continue to erupt. The overlapping or improper positioning of teeth can affect the overall alignment of the dental arch and potentially result in crooked teeth.

Crowding: Shark teeth can cause overcrowding in the mouth, as there may not be enough space for the permanent teeth to align properly. This overcrowding can lead to further dental issues, such as difficulty in cleaning between teeth, an increased risk of plaque buildup, and a higher likelihood of developing gum disease or tooth decay.

Gum Problems: In cases of crowding or improper alignment, maintaining good oral hygiene becomes more challenging. It can be difficult to effectively clean between crowded teeth, increasing the risk of gum disease, inflammation, and potential gum recession.

Speech and Chewing Difficulties: Misaligned teeth can interfere with proper speech development and lead to difficulties in pronouncing certain sounds. Additionally, improper tooth alignment can affect chewing efficiency and hinder proper digestion.

Treatment For Shark Teeth That Dentist in Frisco, Texas Should Do

If you are seeking treatment for shark teeth or ectopic eruption in Frisco, Texas, it is recommended to consult with a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s dental health. The dentist will assess your child’s specific case and provide appropriate treatment options. Here are some common treatments that a dentist in Frisco, Texas, may consider:

Observation and Monitoring: In some cases, if the shark teeth are not causing significant issues or if the primary teeth are expected to naturally fall out soon, the dentist may recommend regular observation and monitoring of the situation. This allows them to track the progress and determine if intervention is necessary.

Extraction: If the primary teeth are not showing signs of naturally exfoliating and the shark teeth are causing misalignment or crowding issues, the dentist may suggest extracting the retained primary teeth. Removing the primary teeth creates space for the permanent teeth to begin to properly align and emerge.

Orthodontic Intervention: If the shark teeth are causing significant misalignment or crowding, orthodontic treatment may be recommended. This can involve the use of braces, space maintainers, or other orthodontic appliances to guide the permanent teeth into their correct positions and improve overall dental alignment.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Regardless of the chosen treatment approach, regular dental check-ups are important to monitor the progress, ensure the success of the treatment, and address any potential issues that may arise during the transitional phase.

How Long Should You Wait to Treat Shark Teeth?

The timing for treating shark teeth, or ectopic eruption, varies based on individual circumstances. It is recommended to promptly seek dental evaluation and treatment recommendations upon noticing shark teeth in your child. Early intervention prevents complications and guides proper teeth alignment.

If the shark teeth aren’t causing significant issues and the primary teeth are expected to naturally fall out soon, the dentist may suggest observation and monitoring before considering treatment. Regular check-ups help assess progress and determine if intervention is needed.

However, if shark teeth cause misalignment, crowding, or oral health and speech concerns, prompt treatment is advised. Extracting retained primary teeth or early orthodontic intervention can prevent further complications and promote dental alignment. Treatment timelines depend on the child’s age, teeth condition, and dentist’s recommendations. Consult a pediatric dentist specializing in children’s dental health for personalized advice on the appropriate treatment timing for your child.

When Should You Call the Dentist in Frisco, Texas?

It is advisable to call a dentist in Frisco, Texas, if you notice any concerning dental issues or have questions regarding your child’s oral health. Here are some situations where it would be appropriate to contact a dentist:

Shark Teeth (Ectopic Eruption): If you observe that your child has shark teeth, where the permanent teeth are erupting behind the primary teeth, it is recommended to contact a dentist. They can evaluate the situation, provide guidance, and recommend appropriate treatment if necessary.

Dental Pain or Discomfort: If your child experiences persistent dental pain, discomfort, or sensitivity, it is important to schedule an appointment with a dentist. Dental pain could indicate an underlying issue such as tooth decay, infection, or gum problems that require professional attention.

Tooth Damage or Trauma: If your child has experienced any dental trauma, such as a knocked-out tooth, chipped tooth, or tooth fracture, it is crucial to contact a dentist as soon as possible. Immediate dental care may be necessary to prevent further damage or infection.

Swelling or Infection: If you notice swelling, redness, or signs of infection in your child’s mouth, including gum inflammation or abscesses, it is essential to contact a dentist promptly. These symptoms could indicate an oral infection that requires professional treatment.

Dental Check-ups and Routine Care: Regular dental check-ups are an important part of maintaining your child’s oral health. If it has been more than six months since your child’s last dental visit, it is recommended to schedule a routine check-up to ensure their dental health is monitored and any issues are addressed early on.

Final Words

In conclusion, addressing the topic of shark teeth, it is important to understand that it is a relatively common occurrence during the transitional phase of dental development in children. While it may initially cause concern, knowing how to navigate this situation can help ensure your child’s dental health is properly managed.

If your child develops shark teeth, it is advisable to consult with a pediatric dentist who can assess the specific condition and provide appropriate guidance. They will evaluate the alignment of the teeth, monitor the progress, and recommend suitable treatment options, if necessary.

Remember, each case is unique, and the guidance and treatment may vary. By staying informed, seeking professional advice, and prioritizing your child’s dental care, you can navigate the situation with confidence and ensure their healthy smile for years to come.


Are shark teeth genetic?

Shark teeth, or ectopic eruption, is not primarily a genetic condition. It is more commonly influenced by factors such as the timing of tooth development, space availability in the mouth, and the natural process of primary tooth exfoliation.

Do shark teeth stop growing?

Yes, shark teeth, or the permanent teeth that erupt behind the primary teeth, do stop growing once they have fully emerged. Once the permanent teeth have reached their final positions, they will continue to erupt until they reach their appropriate lengths and stop growing.

What is the side effect of ectopic eruption?

Ectopic eruption, or shark teeth, can lead to several side effects. These include misalignment of teeth, crowding, difficulties in oral hygiene maintenance, increased risk of gum disease and gum recession, potential speech and chewing difficulties, and overall dental health complications if left untreated.

How do you get rid of shark teeth?

The treatment for shark teeth depends on the specific case and severity. Options may include monitoring the situation, extracting retained primary teeth, or considering orthodontic intervention to guide the permanent teeth into their correct positions. It is recommended to consult with a pediatric dentist who can assess the condition and recommend the most suitable treatment approach.

How long does it take for shark teeth to fall out?

The timeline for shark teeth to fall out can vary. In some cases, the retained primary teeth may become loose and exfoliate naturally, allowing the permanent teeth to move into their proper positions. The process of primary tooth exfoliation can take several weeks or even months. It is important to consult with a dentist who can monitor the situation and provide guidance based on your child’s individual case.