A new University of Michigan study has found that some adults have small, chipped adult teeth.
The study’s authors found that a study of children born between 1950 and 1965 found that between 20 and 40 percent of them had a tiny adult tooth that was less than 1/10 of an inch long, with more than 30 percent of these infants having an adult tooth only half as long as their baby tooth.
The researchers also found that babies born in the 1960s had more tooth growth than children born in recent decades.
“These findings suggest that some children with a slightly chipped or slightly loose adult tooth are not suffering from tooth loss but may be at risk of developing a disease associated with a relatively large tooth loss,” the authors wrote.
They went on to say that there was no correlation between the degree of tooth loss and age of birth.
“We find that most children with smaller adult teeth have a normal development of tooth size,” they wrote.
The authors added that they do not yet know why tooth loss is associated with increased risk of dental disease.
“This does not mean that the condition is entirely caused by tooth loss, rather that it may be a consequence of the condition,” the researchers said.
“It may be that the effect of tooth decay is mediated by a genetic predisposition to develop the condition.”