Wednesday, June 12

Eight Year Old “Jaws” Finally Loses First Baby Tooth After a Year of Waiting

An eight year old British boy has finally lost his first baby tooth — a year after his permanent teeth started growing in behind them.

Zak Brown of Wakefield, West Yorkshire began noticing his permanent teeth coming in about a year ago, but there was a slight problem — his baby teeth had yet to fall out, leaving him with two rows of teeth where there should only be one. The oddity has earned him the nickname “Jaws” among his fellow classmates, in reference to the multiple layers of teeth that sharks have.

“It looked really odd, and they kept on coming. All the while he wasn’t losing his baby teeth,” noted his mother Claire, according to Mail Online. Although concerning at first, the extra teeth did not appear to be bothering her son or affecting his ability to chew or talk. It does, however, mean more time dedicated to brushing his teeth, and more frequent trips to the dentist.

The condition, known as pediatric shark teeth, occurs when adult teeth don’t put enough pressure on baby teeth to push them out, which can happen when permanent teeth grow behind baby teeth. Normally, the adult tooth forms underneath the baby tooth, and when it begins to grow, it applies pressure to the baby tooth and eventually causes it fall out. The adult tooth then grows out of the gum in place of the baby tooth.

In cases of pediatric shark teeth, the extra teeth do not typically pose a threat, and usually the problem takes care of itself over time. Occasionally, the baby teeth will need to be extracted from the mouth to make more room for permanent teeth to move in.

“Different eruption patterns or anomalies are quite common in young children,” explains Dr. Thomas Farris, who owns a dental office in California.  “The best course of action is to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis and to discuss treatment options.”

Zak hasn’t minded the extra attention from his shark teeth, according to his mother, and enjoys showing off his extra set of pearly whites. The only thing that’s been frustrating for the eight-year-old has been watching his two siblings enjoy visits from the tooth fairy while he has had no teeth to offer up.

Despite his best efforts to wiggle his baby teeth free, he only recently lost his first tooth, a full year after his first permanent tooth showed up. His parents left him 10 pounds under his pillow as a special treat, although his mother said, “it’s funny because he’s so old now he doesn’t even believe in the tooth fairy anymore,” according to Mail Online.

Zak is currently on a waiting list to have the remainder of his baby teeth removed.

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