Early Adult Tooth Eruption: Problems and Causes

October 24, 2019

Your child will get two sets of teeth in life, one set as a young child and another set of permanent teeth as they get older. Most of the time, the transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth is easy with few problems. However, some children may have early eruption of adult teeth before the baby ones fall out.

Here is more information about early eruption and why some children have them as well as how the dentist can help.

When Should Children Get Their Teeth?

Your child’s first set of teeth should start to appear at about six months of age and continue on until the child is about two or three years old. The bottom teeth usually erupt before the top teeth. Occasionally, some children are born with a few teeth already erupted, which may cause problems with nursing that can be corrected if needed.

Permanent teeth start to make an appearance when a child is at about 6 years of age (can be younger) and continue until they are about 14 years old. The last set of teeth are the third molars, otherwise known as wisdom teeth, which appear around 17–21 years old. The normal primary-to-adult replacement process is that the permanent teeth push out the baby teeth to take the same place in the mouth. The permanent teeth usually look a little different and as most say are not as white as the baby teeth!

What Problems Does Early Adult Tooth Eruption Cause?

If your child’s permanent teeth come in early, before the baby teeth are ready to come out, complications can occur. For example, the permanent teeth may come in crooked or in the wrong place, often in front of or alongside the existing tooth. This could result in the extended retention of your child’s baby teeth due to the fact that no permanent teeth dislodge them.

Early eruption of adult teeth could result in excessive crowding, and this may make caring for them challenging. These crowded teeth, or any retained baby teeth, may be more susceptible to tooth decay or bite problems as space is tight and limited and food gets stuck quite easily.

Why Do Some Children’s Teeth Erupt Early?

In many cases, early eruption is associated with certain types of health conditions. Three of the most common health-related reasons are listed below.


If you or other family members have had early adult teeth eruption, then your child is at increased risk for this issue. Also, certain congenital structural jaw problems may cause certain teeth to erupt early.

Thyroid Issues

Hyperthyroidism can cause the jaw to grow faster, lead to the early loss of your child’s baby teeth, and the early onset of adult teeth. Alternatively, hypothyroidism can also cause a delay with adult tooth eruption.

Early Primary Tooth Loss

If your child has lost a tooth through trauma or disease, then the adult tooth can erupt sooner than it would have if that primary tooth wasn’t lost, but not always. The most important thing is to retain / hold the space so when it is time for the permanent tooth to come in, the other teeth have not drifted into its space. There are treatments to help with this.

How Can the Dentist Help With Early Eruption? 

The dentist will monitor your child’s teeth to determine whether and when any action towards early eruption should take place. Many times, nothing needs to be done unless the tooth or teeth cause problems such as pain or a bad bite. In certain cases, the tooth may need to be extracted and, potentially, replaced with a dental implant or some other appliance.

The good news is that early eruption of adult teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will always have dental problems in the future. If these teeth cause problems, then your dentist can perform procedures to fix the problem. Vanyo Dentistry will check on your child’s tooth development and recommend treatment to fix any abnormalities. Give us a call for an appointment to have your child’s teeth examined.