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Premature Loss of Baby Teeth: Causes and Consequences

Baby Teeth
Children typically lose their baby teeth from age six onwards. However, your child may lose their baby teeth prematurely, and if they do, the rest of the teeth may fail to grow properly. You may have to intervene on the child's dental health if they lose their baby teeth too early.
Common Causes of Premature Loss of Baby Teeth
Although various things can make your child lose their baby teeth prematurely, the following are some of the most common factors.
Dental Trauma
Accidents that trigger dental trauma are some of the common reasons kids lose their baby teeth prematurely. Kids are typically more physically active than adults, and the physical activity increases their risks of accidents. An accident while playing contact sports, riding a bicycle, or playing on a swing set accident can easily knock out your kid's baby teeth.
Early Childhood Cavities
Early childhood cavities are decays that strike children below the age of 71 months. Poor nutrition, unrestricted intake of sugary drinks, and unrestricted breastfeeding are some of the factors that increase the risk of early childhood cavities. Without timely and adequate intervention, early childhood cavities may trigger your child's loss of baby teeth.
Oral Infections
Adults are far more likely to lose teeth as a result of serious oral infections than babies. However, babies are not immune to such infections. Although rare, your child may develop an infection that may weaken their teeth to the point where a tooth may fall out.
Genetics
Genetics is not strictly a reason baby teeth may fall out prematurely. However, genetics can make your child grow up without one or more baby teeth. If that happens, the consequences are similar to those that the child would have suffered after a premature loss of baby teeth.
The Consequences
Baby teeth serve an important function, and their loss will have long-term consequences for your child. Here are some of the most serious of these consequences.
Destabilization of the Neighboring Teeth
One of the functions of a baby tooth is to ensure the adjacent baby teeth grow straight instead of sideways. If you lose a baby tooth, the adjacent baby teeth have nothing left to help them maintain their straight growth. These adjacent teeth may grow sideways and end up crooked.
Eruption Complications
A typical baby tooth doesn't just help the adjacent grow straight; a baby tooth also guides the permanent tooth to take its place to find adequate space when the permanent tooth comes up. If your child loses a baby tooth, the adjacent teeth may crowd the space and create difficulties for the permanent teeth. The permanent teeth may fail to erupt or erupt in a crooked way.
The Solution
You can't afford to let matters take their own course if your child loses a baby tooth. You need to intervene so that your child doesn't grow up with crooked teeth and have to undergo orthodontic treatment.
The most common intervention is for the child to get a space maintainer. As the name suggests, a space maintainer is a dental device that takes the place of the lost tooth. That way, the yet-to-erupt permanent tooth doesn't have to suffer misalignment consequences. The adjacent teeth also get to maintain their alignment since they don't have a space to lean towards.
At the Family Dentistry of Dunn Avenue, we have the professionals and resources to help your baby grow with strong and healthy teeth. Contact us if your child has lost their baby teeth and you think the loss is premature. We will examine the child and advise you whether an intervention is called for or not. The earlier you seek help, the less likely your child is to suffer permanent dental damage.