Late Teething in Babies – Causes and Complications

5 min read

Teething is our body’s natural process of creating those tiny teeth that introduce us to the world of solid food. A baby gets its first tooth in between 6 to 8 months. So if your baby is more than 10 months old and still not having any signs of teething then it is called late teething. So what causes late teething in babies? Is late teething to be worried about? When to consult a doctor for late teething? Here is all you need to know.

Late Teething In Babies

Normal Teething Chart for Babies

To detect if your baby is having a late teething problem or not you need at first to know the normal teething patterns. You need to know when the milk teeth began emerging and from what area of the gum. Here is a basic teething chart for babies according to the American Academy of Paediatrics:

Type of Teeth Emerging Period Shedding Period
Lower Central Incisors 6 to 10 month 6 to 7 years
Upper Central Incisors 8 to 12 month 6 to 7 years
Upper Lateral Incisors 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Lower Lateral Incisors 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Upper Canine (cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
Lower Canine (cuspid) 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
Upper First Molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 12 years
Lower First Molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Lower Second Molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
Upper Second Molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years

If your baby is going a few weeks or a month early or late according to this chart, don’t worry. Each baby is different and has its own developing speed.

What is Late Teething in Babies?

As your baby reaches 5 or 6 months, its gums get tight, and then tiny milk teeth appear. Around this time the baby feels discomfort in the gums and tries to chew anything they get. Thus the baby’s rice eating ceremony takes place in the 6th month.

Some babies can get their milk teeth a few weeks earlier. This is very normal. But some babies are late bloomers. It can take as long as 15 months for them to get their first tooth. So if teething is not occurring after the normal teeth emerging age then the baby is having delayed teething.

Should You be Concerned if Your Baby Starts Teething Late?

baby breastfeeding

You need not worry if your baby is not showing the signs and symptoms of teething according to the normal teething chart. Some babies are early bloomers whereas some are late bloomers. Going a month or two slower than the others is fine.

Here is what you need to do if your baby having delayed teething:

  • You need to take care that your baby is getting enough breastmilk to enhance its growth and development. If your baby is healthy then its teeth will appear soon.
  • Talk to your family members and relatives. Learn if you have a family history of late teething or not. If yes then your baby is just continuing the heredity.
  • If the baby remains weak and ill most of the time then its growth and development will get hampered naturally. Try to detect the possible cause of its illness and cure it as soon as possible.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If your baby is more than 12 months old and still not having any teeth then it is high time to get a doctor’s appointment. In some babies, late teething occurs without a reason. But in some babies there can be a hidden illness that needs to be addressed in proper time.

What Causes Late Teething in Babies?

Here are some reasons that can cause late teething:

1. Heredity

If there is a family history of late teething either from the mother’s part or father’s, the baby can have late teething too. In that case, you need to talk to those members of your family about their experiences and instructions.

2. Disorders like Hypopituitarism or Hypothyroidism

The pituitary and the thyroid gland in our body produce most of the important growth hormones. In the condition of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce adequate thyroid hormones. This can cause not only late teething but also late talking, and late walking. Based on study done by pubmed.gov, it is identified that  Dental problems like enamel hypoplasia, cross-bites, open-bites, etc can also occur due to hypothyroidism.

Similarly, the condition of hypopituitarism can initiate problems like facial disorder(based on study done on NCBI.gov), obesity, and high cholesterol as the pituitary hormones help our body to work in balance.

3. Malnutrition

There is nothing better than breast milk for the baby. But if for any reason you are not able to provide breast milk to your baby, choose a reputed formula milk brand. Calcium is essential for having healthy and strong teeth. In mother’s milk, there is plenty of it. So the substitute of breastmilk should also have all the nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin D, and phosphorus.

Also, you need to check if your baby is drinking enough milk according to its age or not. Nutritional insufficiency will cause late development according to NCBI study.

4. Fibrosis

Fibrosis is the problem of having thick gums. In fibrosis, thick gums prevent the tooth from emerging through it.

Complications of Delayed Teething

baby late teething

Late teething can cause a few problems in your baby’s growing years. These are:

  • If the baby had delayed teething then there are high chances of having crooked permanent teeth later. This can cause trouble in eating, talking, and cause a lack of self-confidence.
  • As the milk teeth emerge late they take more time to shed. As a result, sometimes permanent teeth appear in the same line as the decayed teeth. This can cause having two rows of teeth at the same time.
  • Milk teeth are important as without them the baby cannot start eating solids. So having late teething means getting devoid of essential nutrients for growth.
  • If the tooth remains embedded for more than normal time then the risk of developing a cyst around it increases. It can cause massive pain in the gums and can require surgery.

Late teething in babies is not that severe in most cases. Even the late teething babies get their first teeth within 10 to 12 months. But if that doesn’t happen then it is wise to talk to the pediatrician.

FAQ’s

1. Is Delayed Teething Bad?

No, in most cases there is nothing bad about late teething. But excessive delay is a matter that you need to be concerned about as there can be a hidden illness or disorder behind it.

2. How to Speed Up Teething?

To help your baby’s teething you can gently rub its gums with your washed fingers. Also, you can provide them toxin-free teething toys to play with and chew to initiate teething.

Read Also: Soothing Essential Oils For Teething Babies

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