Back in our childhood, we each had a set of 20 teeth. The permanent teeth we acquire as adults replace our baby teeth. But it is possible, in rare cases, to acquire more than 32 teeth. The extra teeth present in the mouth are referred to as hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth.
Supernumerary teeth can take on a variety of shapes and sizes. Even though some people with hyperdontia are unaware they have this condition, hyperdontia can cause many problems, such as pain and discomfort.
What Are the Symptoms of Hyperdontia?
As the name implies, hyperdontia is characterized by extra teeth. In some cases, however, these teeth are still not fully developed and can only be seen through a routine X-ray. In addition, men are twice as likely to suffer from hyperdontia as women.
In most hyperdontia cases, only one or two extra teeth appear. Extra teeth normally appear in the following places:
Mesiodens: This type of tooth is located behind or around your incisors and is also one of the most common types of extra teeth you will find in a person.
Distomolar: A distomolar is an extra tooth that grows next to your other molars instead of around them.
Paramolar: A paramolar is an additional tooth located at the back of your mouth, next to one of your molars.
What Are the Causes of Hyperdontia?
What is the reason behind people getting extra teeth? Studies have linked hereditary factors to hyperdontia, but the exact cause is still unknown.
- Cleft palate and lip: A congenital disorder that causes an opening or split between the mouth or upper lip, making eating and speaking difficult.
- Cleidocranial dysplasia: This rare condition causes abnormal growth of the skull, bones, and teeth.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: An inherited disorder that weakens your connective tissue and renders your skin easily bruised.
- Fabry disease: A severe genetic disorder that causes severe hand and foot pain, decreased sweating, gastrointestinal problems, itchy skin, and hearing loss.
- Gardner’s syndrome: A condition characterized by the growth of tumors in the colon, skin, or skull.
What Are the Risks of Hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia, if left untreated, can cause a variety of dental problems. In addition to becoming misaligned and crowded, the teeth can also become damaged. This disorder can make it difficult to chew and speak and cause gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, an excess of teeth can sometimes impact the growth of the surrounding teeth if they are not removed.
Moreover, hyperdontia can cause problems with chewing and swallowing, making it difficult to clean teeth. Hyperdontia may even cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems in some instances.
How Is Hyperdontia Treated?
In some cases of hyperdontia, no treatment is necessary. The most common treatment for hyperdontia is tooth extraction via surgery. Hyperdontia surgery may be recommended when hyperdontia causes:
- Inflammation and pain in the gums;
- Having difficulty eating;
- Tooth pain due to overcrowding;
- An insecurity about your tooth aesthetics.
For mild discomfort caused by hyperdontia, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen for alleviating the pain should suffice.
Choose Patuxent Orthodontics for Your Orthodontic Treatment!
You should talk to your dentist if you’re experiencing hyperdontia. The proper treatment can help you manage this condition and keep your teeth healthy!
At Patuxent Orthodontics, we strive to provide you with a lifelong smile. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office in Hollywood, MD! We also encourage you to stay tuned to our blog for answers to many frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!