Is it normal for the primary molar to get chipped into pieces?

Q. A part of my primary molar chipped into pieces. What could be the reason?

Answered by
Dr. Beryl F
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 05, 2020

Hello doctor,

I had an experience with a tooth as a child that I have never received an answer. My baby teeth were always kept pretty clean and well taken care of but this one incident happened where one tooth literally disintegrated in a matter of seconds. I was sucking on a sucker and noticed that small white hard particles were all over it. I was not sure what was happening inside my mouth and realized about 3/4 of a molar baby tooth was gone and I was spitting out hundreds of small pieces of the tooth. I went to my dentist to remove the rest of the tooth and my adult molars came in fine. What could have happened?



Welcome to

I have gone through your query and understand your concern.

When did it happen (at what age)? How many molars? Any history of bottle feeding? Diet history? History of dental checkups and dental treatments had during that period? More history of the details would help.

It could be tooth demineralization caused by occult caries or backward caries. This cannot be diagnosed clinically by the dentist and may not be apparent to our eyes. It can only be seen in a radiograph. Primary or baby teeth are more prone to decay even if well maintained.

If not decay, the baby molar could have demineralized and become weak enamel by birth. Sometimes medicines taken by mother during her pregnancy (typically during the in-vitro formation of that tooth bud) could have caused this demineralization, if not decay. But the most common likelihood is by hidden decay.

I hope this helps.

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