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Supernumerary Teeth - How Should Your Extra Teeth Be Treated

When it comes to teeth-related concerns, most people worry about tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, mouth sores, and tooth sensitivity. Also, aesthetically speaking, people are usually more concerned about having fewer teeth in their mouth than having too many of them.

That said, can having too many teeth really be a problem?

Yes, it can and this specific condition is known as - hyperdontia teeth or supernumerary teeth.

People who are not familiar with this dental condition have a lot of burning questions, but the most pressing one is this - can hyperdontia cause serious problems?

The short answer is no, but it can make a patient’s life rather unpleasant.

This really sounds like a nasty disease, but people are mostly scared of it simply because they are not well-informed. This article can remedy that.

What Is Hyperdontia?

extra teeth in mouth

In order to properly understand this dental condition, patients have to know what they’re dealing with.

Therefore, what is hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia is a rare condition that causes too many teeth to grow in a person’s mouth. These extra teeth, also called supernumerary teeth, usually grow in the curved areas where teeth are attached to a person’s jaw. This area is better known as the dental arches.

As you probably know, the first 20 teeth that grow in a child’s mouth are known as primary teeth. In most cases, they fall out when a kid turns 5 or 6 and then the 32 adult teeth come in to replace them. Those adult teeth are also called permanent teeth.

Hyperdontia can cause a person to have extra primary or permanent teeth. However, it should be noted that extra primary teeth are more common when it comes to this rare dental condition.

How Can a Person Recognize It?

The symptoms of this condition are pretty obvious. The main symptom is the growth of extra teeth directly behind or close to a person’s usual primary or permanent teeth. In most cases, supernumerary teeth usually appear in adults. It should be stated that they are twice as common in men than they are in women.

Supernumerary Teeth Types and Positions

hyperdontia teeth

Just like regular types of teeth, not all supernumerary teeth are alike. There are many types and they are distinguished by their shape and position.

Here are the known shapes of supernumerary teeth:

  • Supplemental - The extra tooth is a lot similar to the type of tooth near it.
  • Tuberculate - The extra tooth looks like a tube or a barrel.
  • Compound odontoma - this is a tooth that is made of several small growths located near each other.
  • Complex odontoma - A disordered group of tooth-like tissue growths.
  • Conical, or peg-shaped - The extra tooth has a wide base and a narrow top. This one is easily recognizable because it looks sharp.

Here are the known positions of supernumerary teeth:

  • Paramolar - An extra tooth grows in the back of a person’s mouth, next to one of the molars.
  • Distomolar - A tooth grows in line with the other molars.
  • Mesiodens - An extra tooth grows behind or around a person’s incisors. Dentists claim that this is the most common type of extra tooth.

The Causes of Hyperdontia

To be fair, extra teeth in the mouth is not something people want to see. This is exactly why patients who are prone to hyperdontia or the ones who are concerned about it, want to know what causes this condition.

Unfortunately, dentists are not able to give a definitive answer as to what hyperdontia causes are. However, they believe that it is associated with some hereditary conditions.

Here’s what they are:

  • Gardner’s syndrome - A rare genetic disorder that can cause skull growths.
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - An inherited condition that can cause a person to have loose joints that easily dislocate. This condition is also known to cause scoliosis.
  • Fabry disease - People who have this syndrome are not able to sweat. They often feel pain in their hands and feet. Red or blue skin rash and abdominal pain can also occur.
  • Cleft palate and lip - This is a birth defect that can cause a small opening in the roof of the mouth or upper lip. It makes eating and speaking complicated for a person and it can cause ear infections.
  • Cleidocranial dysplasia - This causes abnormal development of the skull and collarbone.

As expected, most of these conditions are affecting bones in a patients body. Dentists remain hopeful that they will soon be able to determine the exact cause of hyperdontia.

What Complications Can Multiple Hyperdontia Create?

The good news is that hyperdontia can’t cause serious problems and it’s usually not too painful. Nonetheless, the extra teeth in the mouth can put pressure on a patient’s jaw and gums, thus causing them to swell. This can be a bit painful.

Most patients are more concerned about the aesthetics because multiple hyperdontia can also make a person’s permanent teeth look crooked. If this happens, people usually have to wear braces or aligners. This condition sounds and looks bad, but this is as bad as it gets. That should be a relief for most patients.

Extra Teeth Treatment

hyperdontia treatment

People who have this condition usually have only one question - can hyperdontia teeth be removed?

The answer is yes and the good news is that hyperdontia surgery is a pretty simple procedure. It’s a bit more uncomfortable than putting crowns and bridges, but nothing too painful. However, not all patients have to undergo this surgery. Here are the situations when hyperdontia removal is necessary:

  • When a person has a genetic condition causing the supernumerary teeth to appear.
  • When a patient can’t chew properly or their extra teeth cut their mouth when they chew.
  • When they feel pain or discomfort on a daily basis.
  • When the extra teeth prevent them from brushing their teeth or flossing in a proper manner. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
  • When a patient doesn’t feel comfortable with the way their teeth look.

If, however, the patient is not experiencing pain, but mild discomfort, dentists recommend a different kind of hyperdontia treatment that involves taking mild anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, for example.

Patients who are prone to this condition or notice the extra teeth coming in should consult their dentist as soon as possible. Hyperdontia can seem scary, but if the patient consults a dentist on time, there will be no cause for concern.