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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Missing baby teeth, should I be concerned?

12/30/2008

Question:

My daughter is now 17 months old, and I am concerned about her teeth. Her bottom incisors erupted on schedule, around 7 months, and we have waited and waited for more teeth to arrive. Around 11 months a bottom latteral incisor erupted but still none on the top. Now we just realized that she has had two mollars erupt on the top, her only top teeth. So she has 5 teeth total and is 17 months old. She has a history of GERD, and also a hyperactive hystamine reaction, ie lots of skin rashes and problems. Could any of this be related, and should I be worried? Thanks for any advice you could offer.

Answer:

Thank you for the question. It is frustrating when a child's teeth don't come in "according to schedule" but the truth is there is a wide range of tooth eruption and loss.

I would recommend that a dentist see your daughter given that the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is the first visit by 12 months or eruption of the first tooth. Let's assume the worst for a minute: that she is missing teeth. The truth is there is really nothing that would be done at this age. It is not uncommon for teeth to erupt in a different order than what we are used to.

I would also pay close attention to the GERD because the constant acid can demineralize or dissolve baby teeth easily. Finally, when an infant presents with significant skin conditions and GERD, it might be wise to also have her evaluated for potential food allergies/intolerances. Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Professor
Director, Residency Program, Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati