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Did you know that each baby tooth has a specific time period in which it’s supposed to fall out (exfoliate) on its own? A child’s first set of teeth are meant to help with proper speech and facial development. In addition, primary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent ones, helping guide them into the proper position. Losing baby teeth prematurely can cause several complications 一 here are the most common:

  1. Speech Development

Our oral anatomy plays a big role in giving us the ability to pronounce words and sounds correctly.  If a child loses teeth prematurely, they may develop a speech impairment because they simply can’t pronounce things as they should.

  1. Facial Development

Baby teeth impact all aspects of the jaw, muscle, and facial development. The maturing jaw bone needs the presence of teeth to stimulate proper growth and shape.

Prematurely losing primary teeth can lead to a narrow upper airway, which in the future can cause issues like obstructive sleep apnea or snoring.

  1. Difficulty Chewing and Poor Digestion

The teeth throughout the mouth have different shapes and sizes, which helps them succeed in their specific role.  Some teeth are meant for biting into or tearing food, while others are best for chewing.  Missing teeth can make breaking down food difficult for a child 一 choking hazards become a factor, as do digestion issues.

  1. Misaligned Teeth and Crowding

Since a baby tooth serves as a placeholder for the corresponding permanent tooth, it’s important for the primary tooth to stay in place until the new one is ready to come through.  If the original tooth is lost prematurely, the neighboring ones will drift toward the space, limiting the room that the permanent tooth has to erupt through. As a result, when the new tooth does come in, it may be misaligned, crooked, and crowded with the others.

  1. Impacted Teeth

In severe cases, after losing a baby tooth prematurely, the neighboring teeth have closed in the gap, blocking the permanent teeth from coming through; thereby causing impacting teeth that remain within the jaw bone and never erupt.

  1. Orthodontic Concerns

When permanent teeth come in crowded and crooked, they will often need to be properly aligned with braces.  However, in the case of teeth that haven’t erupted due to not having the space, orthodontic treatment is more involved and takes longer to complete.

  1. Irregular Tooth Wear

While braces can fix a lot of problems that are brought on by premature baby tooth loss, some issues like wear, can’t.  When a child is missing teeth for a long period of time, the ones that remain are put under more stress than they’re intended to receive. This abnormal pattern causes an irregular and often significant wear on other primary teeth and even some permanent ones.

Children’s Dentist In Austin

To ensure that your child’s baby teeth stay healthy and that they remain on the right track for a developing smile, schedule an exam with our Austin pediatric dentist. Dr. Kyle Raymond and the friendly professionals of Westlake Pediatric Dentistry are here to help. Give us a call today.