MOST OF US DON’T KNOW WHAT SUPERNUMERARY TEETH ARE… In general, we will develop a total of twenty baby teeth that are gradually replaced by a total of thirty-two adult teeth. Sometimes all of those teeth don’t appear, a condition called hypodontia. In rare cases all the normal teeth will be present, plus at least one extra! Those extra teeth are called supernumerary teeth, and the condition is called hyperdontia. (Hypo vs. Hyper)
Why Would Teeth Form?
There are two theories about what causes supernumerary teeth. One likely theory is that an individual tooth bud may divide abnormally and result in two teeth instead of one. The other is that extra teeth may result from hyperactivity in the dental lamina (the tissue in our jaws that forms tooth buds). Heredity could also play a role.
Supernumerary teeth can come in various forms. They might be conical (peg-shaped), tuberculate (with multiple cusps), supplemental (duplicates of normal teeth), or odontoma (a mass of dental tissue that doesn’t quite form a tooth).
Who More Commonly Has Them?
Hyperdontia affects more men than it does women. One study done in southern China showed that only 2.7 percent of children had supernumerary teeth, with a ratio of 6.5 affected boys for every 1 affected girl. They’re also more common in permanent teeth than baby teeth. Several developmental conditions increase the likelihood of having at least one extra tooth, such as cleft lip or palate and Gardner syndrome, but there’s still a lot of debate about what actually causes hyperdontia.
How Do These Teeth Affect Oral Health?
The most obvious effect of a supernumerary tooth is on the appearance of the person’s smile, but not all of the concerns are cosmetic. They often remain impacted in the gum line and can cause crowding and alignment problems for the normal series of teeth, sometimes making it harder for them to erupt. In serious cases, they can cause root resorption in the surrounding teeth.
Typically an extra tooth won’t cause any problems for the rest of the teeth, in which case it can remain where it is. If it is causing problems, however, the standard treatment is to extract the extra tooth or teeth so that the normal teeth will have enough room. In most cases, it is beneficial for the patient to do orthodontic treatment with braces or invisalign to address alignment concerns.
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.<< Back to News