Anberry Hospital

1685 Shaffer Road Atwater, CA 95301 Ph: (209) 357-3420 | Fax: (209) 356-2486

Do Baby Teeth Have Roots? Surprising Fact

Do baby teeth have roots? This is the question many parents ask when their little ones start teething.

So, if you’re one of them and want to know the answer to this question, continue to read this guide as I shall be answering to this question here in the guide.

Do Baby Teeth Have Roots?

Yes, baby teeth have roots. Every tooth, whether primary or permanent, has two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is the visible part of the tooth, while the root is hidden inside the gum.

However, primary teeth are smaller, with shorter and weaker roots. These roots dissolve as the child grows, making way for permanent teeth, which are larger and need more space.

The crown of each tooth is protected by enamel, a hard layer made mostly of calcium and phosphorus. Enamel has no blood vessels or nerves. Similarly, the root is covered by cementum, a bone-like tissue that joins with the enamel. The root is anchored to the jawbone by the periodontal ligament.

Understanding the Structure of a Baby Tooth Root

Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, have roots that look different from those of permanent teeth. When you compare the two, you’ll notice differences in both the crown (the part of the tooth you can see) and the root (the part of the tooth that’s under the gums). The roots of baby teeth are more flared, meaning they spread out more. These roots are shortest in the front teeth and longest in the molars, which are the big teeth at the back of the mouth.

Different types of teeth have different root structures. For example, incisors, which are the front teeth, have only one root. On the other hand, molars, which are the teeth used for grinding food, have multiple roots. In baby molars, these roots are thin and stick out beyond the outline of the crown. This flared arrangement gives more space between the roots, which is important because it allows the permanent teeth to grow in properly.

In front teeth, the roots are slightly longer but narrower. This helps to anchor the teeth securely while the child is using them, even though they will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth.

What is the Purpose of a Tooth Root?

Tooth roots play several important roles. They connect the teeth to the jawbone through a structure made of connective tissue. This connection acts like a foundation, keeping the teeth stable in the mouth. The roots also help the teeth handle the pressure and force from chewing food.

Additionally, tooth roots serve as pathways for nerves and blood vessels. These pass through the roots and into the teeth, providing them with necessary nutrients and enabling them to sense temperature and pain. The root’s structure, which includes the ligament, cementum (a special layer covering the root), and bone, helps in this sensory function. It allows you to feel the things that touch your teeth.

If the roots of the teeth are not healthy, the teeth can become loose and wobbly. This can make chewing difficult and painful. Moreover, if there is an infection in the root, it can spread to other parts of the gums and cause more serious problems if not treated.

Teeth Roots : Adult VS Baby

Adult teeth and baby teeth have noticeable differences, especially in their roots. Adult teeth are larger and have stronger roots that go deeper into the jawbone. Studies show that the roots of permanent teeth can be between 0.5 to 0.7 inches long. In contrast, the roots of baby molars are about 0.3 inches long.

The part of the tooth above the gum, called the coronal part, contains a cavity known as the pulp chamber. This chamber is more complex in adult teeth and includes a root canal system that extends from it. The structure of this system can vary depending on the type of tooth.

What Happens to Your Baby Teeth Roots?

You might wonder why baby teeth fall out so easily if they have roots. The reason is a process called root resorption. As the permanent teeth grow, they absorb the roots of the baby teeth, causing them to become loose and eventually fall out. This is a natural and necessary process for making space for the permanent teeth.

Root resorption involves both the soft and hard parts of the root, including the dentin and cementum layers. Various tissues, cells, and enzymes interact to make this happen. Scientists are still studying the exact details of this process, but they know it is triggered by the growth and pressures within a child’s mouth.

As your child’s face grows, the pressure on the primary teeth increases. This signals the body to start breaking down the roots. One theory is that calcium hydroxide in the pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) causes an inflammatory reaction, which activates cells called odontoclasts. These cells help break down the root. This process also changes the blood vessels, nerves, and other structures around the teeth.

What to Do If a Baby Tooth Root Doesn’t Fall Out?

Sometimes, when a baby tooth falls out, a part of the root might stay in the gum. If this happens, the area can become swollen and painful for the child. In such cases, it’s best to visit a dentist. However, in most cases, the remaining root will dissolve on its own as the permanent tooth grows in.

It can be hard to tell if a part of the root is still in the gum after a tooth falls out. One way to check is by looking at the size of the fallen tooth. If it seems smaller or if the pointed end is missing, it could mean part of the root is still there. Watch the area closely and see if your child feels any discomfort.

Children usually start losing their baby teeth around age six. Sometimes, the shedding process is delayed. This can happen if there is no permanent tooth growing underneath the baby tooth, a condition called hypodontia. Hypodontia can cause permanent teeth to come in crooked if there isn’t enough space.

If your child’s teeth aren’t falling out as expected or if you notice unusual growth, it’s important to consult a dentist. Dental X-rays can help confirm any issues. Treatments like space maintainers or artificial dentures can help manage the condition and ensure proper development of permanent teeth.

Final Thoughts

So, do baby teeth have roots? Yes, they do. These roots are vital for the teeth’s function and stability until they naturally fall out. Understanding how baby teeth and their roots work can help you take better care of your child’s oral health.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *