Hyperdontia, a rare yet completely possible condition, causes people to have more teeth than usual. Typically, kids will have 20 baby teeth, and 32 more will erupt as they get older. But those with hyperdontia grow what are called supernumerary teeth, which are extra teeth that usually grow behind the already erupted teeth. The good news is that hyperdontia isn’t often a serious problem that requires treatment from your dentist in Houston.
What Causes Hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia has no known causes, but there are correlations between it and other inherited conditions such as:
- Cleft palate or lip
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Ehler-Danlos syndrome
- Fabry disease
- Cleidocranial dysplasia
The most obvious sign of hyperdontia is developing more teeth after your full set of either baby or permanent teeth has already arrived. However, if the additional teeth haven’t erupted yet, your dentist in Houston will be able to see them developing under the gum line through dental x-rays. Hyperdontia doesn’t typically cause pain, but there can be some discomfort in the jaw or gums.
Shape & Location
The shape and location of supernumerary teeth can vary from person to person, although they’re most likely to appear behind the four front teeth. Different locations include:
- Paramolar – back by the molars
- Distomolar – in line with the molars rather than behind them
- Mesiodens – behind the incisors
And different shapes can vary from:
- Supplemental – mimics the shape of the tooth it erupts by
- Tuberculate – is tubular in shape
- Compound odontoma – looks like a bunch of smaller teeth bunched together
- Complex odontoma – shows as a cluster of tooth-like tissues
- Conical – wide at the bottom and sharp and pointy on top
How to Treat Hyperdontia
In situations when treatment for hyperdontia is recommended by your dentist in Houston, the typical treatment is extracting the extra teeth. However, this only usually happens when necessary. The symptoms that usually require treatment can vary from discomfort in the jaw or gums to problems with proper brushing and flossing. Other times, if a patient is simply unhappy with the way the extra teeth look, treatment and some forms of cosmetic dentistry can help. Treatment for hyperdontia should be completed sooner rather than later, so it’s important to see your dentist in Houston regularly for exams, x-rays, and cleanings.
Risks of Hyperdontia
Even though hyperdontia is usually not a big deal, there are some risks associated with the condition.
- Bite issues
- Difficulty brushing and flossing
- Speech impediments
- Facial deformities
If you or a family member notice that you have more teeth than you’re supposed to or feel additional teeth behind or around existing teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. A quick and gentle exam is the first step to determining if treatment is needed and what would be the best recommendation for you.