New tooth sticking out

My son, almost 11 months old, just got his 3rd tooth. It seems to be out on the gum, instead of in on the gum. Should I be concerned?

Question:

To be honest, I have a hard time picturing what you describe. If it is an upper front tooth (i.e. central incisor) and it is "sticking out", you need to be cautioned that this tooth will be more prone to trauma as your son becomes more active. If your son is spending a lot of time sucking his thumb, fingers, or a pacifier that is not orthodontically correct, this pattern could occur in other upper teeth.

If you have an appointment soon to see your dentist, you may want to take your son along and see if he'll cooperate enough for the dentist to get a quick look at his tooth. He may have to sit in your lap to remain still during the quick exam. Depending on what the dentist sees and any discussions regarding your son's oral habits, you and the dentist may decide on some form of treatment or nothing at all for now, especially given your son's age.

If you would like another reference for more information, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has a web site at http://www.aapd.org. Under the section entitled "Parent Information", topics listed included "Thumb, Finger, and Pacifier Habits" and "What is Malocclusion".

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