Excess Teeth in the Mouth? That’s Hyperdontia
The standard number of deciduous teeth — more commonly known as baby teeth or primary teeth — in a child’s mouth is 20. For adult men or women, the usual permanent teeth count is 32. The former set appears by the time a child reaches the age of three, while permanent teeth fully erupt between the ages of 16 and 18.
If you or your child develops extra teeth in the deciduous or permanent set, visit your Chandler dentist. An oral condition called hyperdontia may be present.
Hyperdontia: Mutant Teeth?
Although your children might be thrilled — no, you are not a mutant. An excess number of teeth (a.k.a. too many teeth) characterizes hyperdontia, otherwise known as supernumerary teeth. They can emerge anywhere along the dental arch or area where teeth attach to your jaw.
To be specific, the locations of hyperdontia teeth include:
- Paramolar. An additional tooth erupts in the back of the mouth, near one of the molars.
- Distomolar. An additional tooth erupts in line with the mouth’s other molars, rather than around them.
- Mesiodens. An additional tooth erupts behind or around the flat teeth at the front of the mouth (incisors) used for biting.
What Do Extra Teeth in the Mouth Look Like?
Aside from the location, a Maricopa County dentist categorizes an extra tooth based on its shape.
The different shapes an extra tooth can have include:
- Supplemental. The shape of the excess tooth is similar to the tooth closest to it.
- Compound odontoma. The tooth consists of many small, tooth-like growths near one another.
- Conical or peg-shaped. The tooth is wider at the bottom and narrow at the top, making it look pointed or sharp.
- Complex odontoma. Instead of one tooth, an area of tooth-looking tissue grows in a disordered group.
- Tuberculate. The extra tooth has a barrel or tube-like form.
How Many Teeth Can Grow?
Most of the cases remain limited to a single tooth. There have been reported incidents of over 30 supernumerary teeth (multiple hyperdontia) in one person. Still, such large numbers are rare.
Is Hyperdontia a Common Condition?
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry, the prevalence of hyperdontia is about 1 to 4 percent of the population, with a male to female ratio of 2:1.
What Causes This Oral Condition?
Scientists have not determined the cause of hyperdontia. However, it seems to have an association with several genetic conditions, such as:
- Gardner’s syndrome. This rare hereditary disorder causes skin cysts, colon growths, and skull growths.
- Cleft palate and lip. These congenital disabilities manifest through an opening in the upper lip or roof of the mouth, difficulty speaking or eating, and ear infections.
- Fabry disease. An inability to sweat, discomfort in the hands and feet, skin rashes, and abdominal pain characterize this syndrome.
- Cleidocranial dysplasia. An abnormal or underdeveloped skull and collarbone describes cleidocranial dysplasia.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Among the telltale signs of this inherited condition are loose joints that easily dislocate, painful muscles and joints, scoliosis, and easily bruised skin.
What are the Complications of Hyperdontia?
Being diagnosed with hyperdontia can cause a myriad of dental problems to arise. The following complications of supernumerary teeth can impede with the normal functions of the oral cavity (mouth):
- Tooth impaction
- Teeth crowding
- Difficulty chewing
- Fusing with permanent teeth
- Growth of cysts or tumors
Is Hyperdontia Manageable?
While supernumerary teeth can cause the complexities above, sometimes, hyperdontia does not create oral health problems. Seeing a licensed family dentist in Arizona twice a year for check-ups and regular teeth cleaning ensures the health of your mouth is in the pink.
At home, develop a habit of brushing twice a day with an antimicrobial fluoride toothpaste, which prevents plaque and cavities from forming. Keep in mind that no matter the condition, proper oral care is the most effective way to secure your natural teeth for a lifetime.
What are the Treatments for Hyperdontia?
Though some patients with hyperdontia do not need treatment, others with a high risk of developing complications require dental extractions.
A dentist may recommend removing the extra teeth if:
- You have an underlying hereditary condition causing the supernumerary teeth in the mouth to appear.
- You feel an ache or discomfort as a result of overcrowding.
- You have issues chewing properly.
- Your extra tooth cuts your mouth when eating or chewing.
- Brushing your teeth or flossing has become a challenge because of the extra teeth, which could cause cavities or gum disease.
- Your teeth make you feel embarrassed or self-conscious when smiling.
What’s more, if the additional growth of teeth in your mouth are:
- Beginning to affect your dental hygiene, and;
- Harming your other teeth, like preventing permanent teeth from coming out
— it is best to extract them as soon as possible to stop any lasting effects, including gum disease development or crooked teeth.
If hyperdontia only causes you mild discomfort, a general dentist may prescribe you with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to manage pain.
What Tests Help to Diagnose Hyperdontia? Are They Painful?
Hyperdontia is quick to diagnose, as long as the supernumerary teeth have already surfaced. If not, they will still be visible on a routine dental X-ray. A dentist may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan to produce detailed images of your teeth, jaw, and overall oral cavity. All of these diagnostic tests are painless.