What If I Have Extra Teeth?
For many people who have hyperdontia, which causes supernumerary teeth, the thought of having a perfectly aligned, impeccable smile may seem far-fetched. Most may not even know they have an extra tooth hidden in the gums, and it could take an x-ray to find out. The discovery of wisdom teeth can lead to extraction because of the complications they could cause through overcrowding. Through Amborn Orthodontics, we know what to look for and can help anyone who has extra teeth as early as childhood.
What Is Hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia is thought to be genetic and generally occurs with many chromosomal syndromes, such as Gardner and Ehler-Danlos, but can also happen with those who have cleft lips or palates. For primary teeth, a child should have a maximum of twenty, and for permanent, an adult should only have thirty-two. Any teeth more than that are considered supernumerary. It is usually more common for them to appear in the upper jaw. The type of hyperdontia that you have depends on the location within your mouth.
Conical supernumerary teeth are considered the most common type of hyperdontia and appear near the incisors. They have a root, which may displace other teeth that have not yet erupted. Tuberculate teeth are usually impacted in the gums and rarely come out. They can prevent the development of other teeth. Molariform teeth usually have a complete root and look just like a premolar. Supplemental teeth have the disadvantage of resembling baby teeth.
Because many of these supernumeraries can be indistinguishable from natural, healthy teeth, it can be very important to be screened regularly to prevent developmental issues before they can become serious. Extra teeth can increase the possibility of a speech impediment, which may hinder communication skills. Even one extra tooth could cause issues with chewing food, which can be a problem since many people already know good nutrition is vital for optimal physical and oral health.
Treatment for Hyperdontia
If there is a risk of crowding, this could cause the supernumerary tooth to fuse with the permanent tooth. This means it might be a good idea to simply have the extra teeth removed. This can prevent issues in the future, especially if you feel like you may need to consider dental implants or grafts one day. If left to fuse, however, the jaw may resorb the root of the other tooth, which can be a bad thing if it happens to be one of your permanent teeth. The only way to save the root of the permanent tooth might be with the extraction of the supernumerary one.
In the cases of children or special needs patients, if the hyperdontia is not causing any immediate developmental issues or discomfort, it may be decided that for the moment, extraction is not necessary. For others, the extra teeth might not be something they have to worry about in itself, but rather gives them a unique appearance that may make them feel rather self-conscious. Do not underestimate the use of certain types of toothpaste which can produce whiter and brighter smiles. For those who are looking for the silver lining in hyperdontia, there can be no real disadvantage to having a beautiful and toothsome grin.
If you are interested in learning more information about what can be done when you have extra teeth, we here at are happy to provide you with the answers to any questions you might have. Please give us a call at (503) 967-9887 to schedule an appointment.