Normally, the babies are born without any tooth in the mouth; though rarely some babies may be born with a few teeth. But generally, babies experience the growth of their first tooth, when they are around 6 months old. At first, the lower incisor tooth is developed at the centre of the lower jaw and then, slowly the other teeth gradually erupt over the upper and lower jaws. By the time a baby is three years old, he/she gets all the baby teeth in the mouth. If anything else happens, the baby should be taken to a paediatric dentist as soon as possible.
In some babies, the primary teeth or the baby teeth may appear late. But if no tooth develops even when the baby is 13 months old, then it should be treated with concern and need to be referred to a paediatrician. There are several reasons of late baby teeth, but if no immediate treatment is done for the growth of the primary teeth in the baby’s mouth, it may lead to several other dental complications in future. This indicates that this baby will have to visit the dentist several times in his/her life, when he/she grows up.
Causes of the development of late baby teeth in some babies
- Genetic problem – The trait of growing late baby teeth mostly runs within the family history. If any of the parents and grandparents experienced late tooth development in their own childhood, there is no wonder that the baby will experience the same, due to the genetic fault running through his/her blood.
- Hypothyroidism – Sometimes, the baby may be born with an undeveloped thyroid gland, which will result to lesser or no production of the thyroid hormones. This congenital hypothyroidism in the body of the infant is most likely to become the cause for late growth of teeth, along with late walking or late speaking. Thus, proper medications are administered to the affected baby, for curing this birth ailment.
- Malnutrition – If the baby does not receive proper nutrition of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Calcium and Phosphorous; it is more likely that the baby may experience the late growth of baby teeth. Particularly, Vitamin D and Calcium are directly linked with the development of teeth and bones of the body. Hence, the lack of these vitamin and mineral can easily lead to late or poor growth of the teeth and the parents should take care to feed these nutrients in sufficient amounts to their babies.
Few tips to avoid the late growth of baby teeth
- The babies should be fed enough milk and other dairy products, easily digestible cereals, fish and orange juice, to avoid the deficiency of these essential nutrients in the babies.
- The practice of keeping the baby in the mild sunlight for some time per day also gives much Vitamin D, for strengthening his/her body.
- If the baby still remains toothless till the age of 18 months, he/she may need urgent medical attention, to cure the problems that are hindering the growth of the teeth in a baby.
- The congenital hypothyroidism is often treated by prescribing limited doses of synthetic T4 hormones, to raise the hormone level and restore normalcy to the baby’s body. Some medications for curing hypothyroidism can be given to the baby, by crushing the tablets and then these are mixed with either breast milk or water, for feeding the baby.
- Sometimes, the dental surgeon may conduct X-ray, to find out if there is any problem in the gums of the child. If by chance, any deformed baby tooth is spotted to be embedded within the gum, it may be removed by a reliable dentist for better growth of the other teeth.