Generally speaking, the standard number of permanent teeth for adults is 32 while kids have 20 primary teeth. When a person is born with excess teeth, also known as a 'supernumerary' (having more than the standard number), this individual suffers from an oral condition called hyperdontia.

Know more about its root cause and the best available treatment available today. You will also find the risk factors that you have to consider when you are dealing with this condition before, during, or after your treatment.

A complete set of well-formed teeth are definitely beautiful. But what would you do if you have excess teeth?

What Is Hyperdontia? Tracing Its Root Cause

The primary teeth are the first set of teeth that show up in one’s mouth, usually when we are around 36 months of age. Through time, these teeth are shed until one reaches 12 years old. Primary teeth are then replaced by permanent teeth.

This process is completed around the age of 21 for most individuals. If one develops more than 20 primary teeth and more than 32 permanent teeth, then they have hyperdontia. The excess teeth are called supernumerary teeth.

Supernumerary teeth can take place in any area of the dental arch. The most common, however, are permanent anterior incisors in the upper (maxillary) arch. The second most common case is the lower arch (maxillary and mandibular), followed by fourth molars.

Excess teeth usually appear as extra and impacted wisdom teeth. An extra maxillary incisor is referred to as ‘mesiodens’, while the extra fourth molar is called 'distomolar' or 'distodens'. On the other hand, natal teeth are extra teeth present at or shortly after birth.

Most hyperdontia cases are mild and usually involve just one or two teeth. Some people with severe cases, however, suffer from crowded teeth, teeth that failed to come in or displaced permanent teeth.

There are also cases of hyperdontia teeth growing out of gums. In some overgrowth cases, this can lead to speech impediments and even facial deformities.

How Common is Hyperdontia?

This oral condition is rare, as it only affects around 1% to 4% of the population, usually adults. Men are twice as likely to have this condition than women.

In most cases, the excess is limited to a single tooth. However, there is a case where a person had more than 30 supernumerary teeth. This, however, is extremely rare.

The Risk Factors of Hyperdontia

Most people are unaware of their supernumerary teeth until they get an oral exam or X-rays. For some people, hyperdontia can be painful as extra teeth can hinder their chewing and put extra pressure on the jaw and gums. Also, overcrowded teeth can make permanent teeth look crooked.

According to RDH Magazine, supernumerary or overgrowth teeth can lead to multiple health issues, such as:

● Bite problems (malocclusion)
● Impactions (where a tooth was unable to grow straight, causing pressure on teeth around it)
● Primary teeth unable to grow properly (blocked)
● Cysts and tumors
● Periodontal disease
● Higher risk of infection
● Tooth decay due to difficulty cleaning crowded teeth

The Common Root Causes of Hyperdontia

The exact cause of this oral condition is still unknown. However, experts believe genetics plays a big role, along with the cells that initiate teeth development.

Knowing the causes of Hyperdontia will help you decide on the best treatment plan.

In many cases though, they are often associated with a variety of hereditary conditions, such as:

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

This is a hereditary condition that affects connective tissues that support the bones, skin, blood vessels, and other organs and tissues in the body. Apart from crooked teeth, this causes joints to feel loose and dislocated, easily bruised skin, painful muscles and joints, and scoliosis. Signs and symptoms of this condition vary from mild pain to life-threatening complications.

Gardner’s syndrome

Also referred to as familial colorectal polyposis, and a subtype of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), this rare genetic condition causes skull growths, skin cysts, and color growths. It is often characterized by the presence of multiple polyps in the colon, as well as tumors outside of it.

Fabry disease

This is a rare genetic condition characterized by the deficiency of the enzyme called alpha-galactosidase A. The disease leads to the inability to sweat, abdominal pain, blue and red skin rash, and painful hands and feet, as well as episodes of burning sensations. It affects different parts of the body, such as the teeth, skin, eyes, kidney, gastrointestinal system, brain, heart, and nervous system.

Cleft palate and lip

This is a birth defect characterized by openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate), or both. It is one of the most common birth defects.

This takes place when the facial structures of the babies that develop during pregnancy don’t completely close. It causes trouble speaking, eating, and even ear infections.

Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD)

This is also called cleidocranial dysostosis and it is a birth defect that affects bones and teeth. It is characterized by abnormal development of the collarbone and skull, broad thumbs, short and tapered fingers, flat feet, short forearms, knocks knees, and scoliosis.

Best Available Treatment for Hyperdontia

In some cases, hyperdontia of one or two teeth will not need treatment. However, in cases where it affects one’s health and appearance and causes pain and discomfort, dentists recommend the removal of the excess teeth.

Early detection is extremely helpful when dealing with hyperdontia. This is because treatment varies from one condition (and person) to another.

Since teeth will present both cosmetic and functional problems, it usually includes a “wait and see” approach. Orthodontic approach and tooth extraction are the two most common courses of treatment for hyperdontia.

Hyperdontia Prognosis

Hyperdontia can cause crowding or delay on the eruption of neighboring teeth, and these will usually need orthodontic treatment. If kept unchecked, the problematic teeth can cause cysts or tumors. So be sure to consult with your dentist about it if you find that you have this condition.

Author's Bio: 

Amna Kahn