photo of a child touching the extra tooth growing behind his teeth

Tooth Growing Behind Baby Tooth – What’s Happening?

Have you ever encountered a peculiar situation where a new tooth begins to grow behind a baby tooth? For parents and individuals alike, it raises questions about what lies behind this phenomenon and how to address it effectively.

In this post, we are going to look into the causes and solutions related to this unusual dental occurrence. From understanding the science behind it to providing practical advice on how to deal with this scenario, we have you covered!

Understanding the Tooth Development

The journey that children take on their way to developing their adult teeth is one that is both natural and intriguing. It involves the growth of primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, which play important roles in early childhood.

Stage 1: Eruption of Baby Teeth

Baby teeth, also referred to as primary teeth, gradually emerge during infancy and up until approximately the age of 2 or 3. These teeth serve vital functions, aiding children in chewing and speaking properly and creating space for the future growth of permanent teeth.

Stage 2: Permanent Teeth Growth

As children grow, their jaws expand, creating space for the larger, permanent teeth. The roots of the baby teeth start to dissolve, leading to the natural process of them falling out to make way for the new set of permanent teeth.

Tooth development is a remarkable, natural process that not only guarantees the oral health of youngsters but also prepares them for any future dental requirements they could possibly have.

Why Does it Happen?

This incident, in which a new tooth begins to appear beneath an existing baby tooth, can be brought on by a number of different conditions, some of which include the following:

Timing Misalignment

Sometimes, the timing of the baby tooth falling out and the new tooth coming in doesn’t synchronize correctly. As a result, the new tooth may begin to surface before the baby tooth has fallen out, leading to a double set of teeth in the same area.

Lack of Space

Insufficient space in the mouth can lead to new teeth emerging in unexpected positions. When there isn’t enough room for the new tooth to come in properly, it might push its way in behind the baby tooth instead of following the usual path.

Genetic Factors

Tooth development can be influenced by genetics, and certain traits may run in families. These genetic factors can contribute to the positioning and alignment of emerging teeth, potentially leading to a new tooth growing behind a baby tooth.

a young child with his hands cupping his chin

Tackling Potential Challenges

A lot of issues might arise when a permanent tooth erupts from behind a baby tooth, some of which can have far-reaching effects on dental and overall health. Several of these cases involve:

  • Dental Misalignment

One of the most common issues associated with a tooth growing behind a baby tooth is dental misalignment. The new tooth’s unexpected path may disrupt the natural alignment of the teeth, resulting in a disorganized arrangement.

  • Impact on Neighboring Teeth

The development of a tooth behind a baby tooth may cause neighboring teeth to shift from their original positions. While this might be puzzling initially, it is a relatively common occurrence and often resolves itself over time.

  • Difficulty in Chewing

Your teeth work together to facilitate easy chewing of food. When one tooth grows in an unusual place, it can lead to chewing difficulties and discomfort, making eating your favorite meal a less enjoyable experience.

  • Impacted Tooth

A tooth growing behind a baby tooth may become impacted, meaning it cannot fully emerge from the gum and remains partially covered or trapped. This can happen due to limited space or an abnormal eruption path.

  • Oral Hygiene Challenges

Maintaining proper dental hygiene becomes a bit challenging when dealing with an unusual tooth alignment. Hard-to-reach areas make thorough teeth cleaning difficult, leading to an increased risk of plaque buildup and related dental issues.

  • Speech Difficulties

The position of teeth can affect speech, and a tooth growing behind a baby tooth may obstruct the natural movement of the tongue and lips, causing difficulty speaking or minor lip injuries.

  • Bite Problems

Your upper and lower teeth should be perfectly suited for one another. When a tooth erupts at an awkward angle, it throws off the balance of the bite, making it difficult to chew and speak properly.

  • Psychological Impact

A smile is more than just a physical gesture, it significantly affects self-esteem and confidence. Having a tooth develop behind a baby tooth can potentially impact one’s self-image and lead to embarrassment about their smile.

Caring for Baby Teeth and Beyond

You will be able to lead your child through this stage of their dental growth in an enjoyable and stress-free way if you implement the handy ideas highlighted below:

Encourage regular oral hygiene

Maintain clean and healthy teeth to create an optimal environment for dental growth.

Monitor progress

Keep a close watch on the baby tooth’s wiggliness and the incoming tooth’s advancement as positive indicators of progress.

Opt for a soft diet

If your child experiences discomfort, offer gentle, soft foods that won’t aggravate the situation.

Avoid forceful removal

Let the baby tooth decide its exit strategy. Avoid pulling it out forcefully, as it may cause more harm than good.

Make dental visits a habit

Regular check-ups with the dentist will help monitor your child’s dental development and detect any potential issues early on.

Celebrate milestones

Losing a tooth is a big deal for kids! Celebrate the moment, and they will view it as an exciting adventure.

Take these simple steps to ensure a smooth dental journey for your child and promote healthy oral habits from an early age.

a smiling young boy on a dentist chair

Tips on Handling Dental Anomalies

There are numerous approaches for dealing with a tooth that is growing behind a baby tooth. Let’s look at some of them to get a few ideas of how to encourage a beautiful, well-aligned smile.

Waiting It Out

Sometimes, a dentist may choose a patient approach, allowing nature to take its course. Observing the situation, they may let the baby tooth naturally make way for the adult tooth, promoting a smooth transition.

Dental Extractions

A dental extraction may be necessary when a baby tooth resists giving way to the new tooth. This straightforward procedure creates a clear path for the emerging adult tooth, ensuring proper alignment.

Embracing Orthodontics

Braces offer a gentle yet effective solution for aligning teeth. Whether it’s guiding a tooth into place or correcting other dental misalignments, they can help achieve a straight and beautiful smile.

Healthy, aligned teeth are achievable with the right care and attention. Discuss your options with your dentist and make an informed decision to keep your oral health on track.

Bright Healthy Smiles – Your Partner in Dental Development

Choose confidence, choose expertise, choose Bright Healthy Smiles! Our commitment to your child’s comfort means that any mild discomfort is expertly addressed, putting both you and your little one at ease.

Contact us today, and let’s get that toothy situation sorted!


Having a tooth growing behind a baby tooth might raise some concerns, but in most cases, it’s a natural part of the tooth development process. By understanding what to expect and staying proactive with dental care, you can ensure a healthy and beautiful smile for you or your child.


How long does it take for the baby tooth to fall out on its own?

The time it takes for a baby tooth to fall out naturally can vary, but it typically spans from weeks to months.

Is there any way to prevent a tooth from growing behind a baby tooth?

While complete prevention is not guaranteed, maintaining good oral hygiene habits and scheduling regular dental checkups can promote healthy dental development.

At what age does tooth growing behind a baby tooth usually happen?

Tooth growing behind baby teeth usually occurs around the age of 5 to 6 years when the permanent teeth are ready to erupt.

Is there any pain or discomfort associated with a tooth growing behind a baby tooth?

As with any tooth eruption, some temporary tenderness and sensitivity might occur. However, this discomfort is usually manageable with simple remedies.

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