Adults with milk teeth: when can it happen?

The temporary or milk dental elements are those of childhood. They appear when the person is a child and are later replaced by the permanent parts. But it may happen that they never fall out, and there are adults with milk teeth.

There are 20 temporary elements in total. They begin to appear in the baby’s mouth between 6 and 10 months of age. The rash is usually complete in 2 to 3 years.

The replacement of milk teeth with those of adults occurs progressively between 6 and 12 years of age. The temporary pieces are falling for the final ones to take their place.

There are situations where temporary pieces remain in the mouth. In this article, we explain why this can happen and what adults with baby teeth should do.

When can an adult have baby teeth?

Finding adults with baby teeth is not such a strange thing. The persistence of temporary pieces in the mouths of the older ones can be due to various causes:

  • Permanent Agenesis: this is the most common cause. It is the absence of the permanent tooth that must replace the temporary one. In the absence of the definitive piece that reabsorbs the roots and then takes the place of the milk, the latter remains in the mouth. It is usually hereditary in origin, but may be related to conditions of the mother during pregnancy or to underlying syndromes or pathologies.
  • Tooth included: here the permanent tooth is present, but remains in the bone unable to burst. Most of the time it happens due to lack of space. But it can also respond to temporary bone ankylosis (the tooth is fused to the bone tissue and cannot be moved). Also for previous infections or traumas to the milk tooth.
  • Other conditions: to exist associated pathologies to tooth development, such as some endocrine disorders and ectodermal dysplasia. In these cases there is usually an absence of several pieces in the mouth.

Can adult baby teeth cause discomfort or complications?

Temporary dental pieces aren’t made to last long. They are more fragile and less resistant, so they are more at risk of breaking or decaying. Adults with baby teeth must exercise extreme dental hygiene to keep them healthy.

Another problem that arises from the persistence of temporary teeth is the dimensional discrepancy with respect to permanent teeth. Being smaller, the milk elements cause misalignment, malocclusions and gaps.

Teeth brushing to take care of milk teeth in adults.
An adult with milk teeth must exercise extreme oral hygiene in order not to promote tooth decay.

Treatment options available for adult baby teeth

Adults with baby teeth may need some kind of dental treatment or not. This will depend on the state of the piece in question and on the presence or absence of malocclusions deriving from its permanence in the mouth.

The retention of the piece in the mouth is indicated when the milk tooth is intact. Its root is solid, has no mobility and does not alter the functionality or aesthetics of the oral cavity. Hygiene care by the patient is essential in these cases.

When the piece of milk causes occlusion problems the case must be studied carefully in order to choose between the different approach options. Furthermore, the same will depend on the dental element and on the cause that originated the persistence in the mouth.


As we have already mentioned, the baby tooth is smaller than the final pieces. To work around the occlusion problems this can cause, the crown is remodeled.

The dentist adds a molded filling to the surface of the milk piece. In this way it acquires the size, height and appearance of an adult tooth. It is necessary that the crown and the root of the base element are in good condition.

Extraction and orthodontics

In some cases, your dentist may determine that pumping the milk piece is the best option.

When there is dental crowding and lack of space, the baby tooth is removed and then the orthodontic treatment is performed. Neighboring pieces are straightened and the gap left by the extracted one is closed.

If the persistence of the milk element is due to the inclusion of the permanent tooth (retained within the bone), extraction is also necessary. When the temporary piece is removed, the definitive piece will have room to erupt spontaneously or guided with orthodontic forces.

removal and replacement

When the piece of milk has caries, mobility, reabsorbed roots or alters the functionality of the mouth, extraction is indicated. Then, artificial tooth replacement will be required.

There are several alternatives to replace the missing part. The choice depends on the clinical case, the needs and possibilities of the patient.

Currently, dental implants are usually the most chosen option due to the aesthetics and the stability obtained. But its use should be in adulthood, when bone growth has finished.

Dental bridges and removable partial dentures are also options to consider. Well, they return the function to the mouth. As we have already mentioned, the dentist will best advise the patient in choosing the method of smile rehabilitation.

Orthodontics for the treatment of milk teeth in adults.
One approach option is to extract the baby tooth and begin an orthodontic process to correct the bite.

Visits to the dentist are essential

Adults with baby teeth can have these baby bits in their mouths without even realizing it. It is the dentist who, in general, makes the discovery and confirm it with X-rays.

The professional will also make a diagnosis of the mouth situation. This will determine whether the persistence of the temporary is a problem and treatment is needed or not.

For all of this, Frequent visits to the dentist are key to maintaining a healthy mouth and avoid problems and complications. Paying attention to home oral hygiene is also essential. Therefore, with proper care, adults with baby teeth can have a healthy smile.

The post Adults with milk teeth: when can it happen? first appeared on research-school



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