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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Permanent molar while baby tooth still there.



My 9-year-old daughter has her first permanent molar coming in on the top left. The baby tooth is still in place, but loose. The baby tooth has been pushed toward the inside of her mouth so that the molar can come in straight (a little wide, but straight). However, her baby tooth has turned pink and appears to have a small hole in the middle of the tooth that is very pink. She has no pain or fillings in the tooth and she "wiggles" it often. Her dentist said that there is no root left to the baby tooth and that the gum has "fallen" into the baby tooth. He said that the baby tooth should be coming out on its own soon, but it has been 4 months. Should I be alarmed that the baby tooth has turned pink?


It is not uncommon for a primary (baby) tooth to turn pink as it resorbs. However, there are some other issues about your daughter's teeth that may merit examination. Nine years old is relatively late for a first permanent molar to erupt, and it's early for the second primary molar to be lost. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion if you have questions, and I recommend an examination by a pediatric dentist.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University