Over-retained Baby Teeth - “Shark Teeth”

One of the most common concerns we address at our office is kids having a double row of teeth when the new permanent ones come in. Parents often call it having “shark teeth”. PB1

Most often, on the lower jaw, the permanent teeth come in on the tongue side of the baby teeth.


On the lower, the permanent teeth usually come in on the side of the roof of the mouth.


Sometimes the permanent tooth will not resorb the root of the baby tooth. The permanent tooth will then take the path of least resistance.

For these teeth, we recommend an evaluation by Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav. We can determine whether we would like the patient to try to wiggle out his or her baby tooth on their own. We typically give kids two weeks to wiggle them out. If they cannot do it in that time period, we will often recommend extraction of the over-retained baby tooth. We always need a current radiograph of the teeth to check on root structure, degree of root presence, and any possible anatomical obstacles for extraction. Given that there is enough space for the permanent tooth, it will likely move more into the arch. Possible outcomes of no treatment include gingival irritation/infection, gingival defects on permanent teeth such as recession, and permanent malpositioning of permanent teeth.

We hope this sheds some light on a very common issue for our little ones!


Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry