Extra Teeth: Treatment for Hyperdontia
At Family Dental Care in Jackson, MS, Dr. Danny O’Keefe provides a wide range of treatments in cosmetic dentistry, along with restorative and general dental care. For patients with supernumerary - or extra - teeth, we also offer treatment for hyperdontia. Patients with hyperdontia can have supernumerary teeth anywhere in the mouth. This condition affects children and adults alike, and is present in approximately 0.1 to 3.8 percent of the population, according to the Journal of Conservative Dentistry. Hyperdontia is most common among:
- Patients with Gardner syndrome
- Children born with Down syndrome
- The South American population
- The Chinese population
- Children born with cleft lip
- Patients with Ehler-Danlos syndrome
Typically, there should be no more than 20 primary (baby) teeth and 32 permanent (adult) teeth. Any extra teeth are considered supernumerary, resulting in a hyperdontia diagnosis. The majority of hyperdontia cases are mild, involving one or two extra teeth, although there are rare severe cases involving over 20 supernumerary teeth.
People with hyperdontia often only develop a single extra tooth that remains unerupted. Most people do not even realize they have the condition until they have dental x-rays taken. If hyperdontia is identified during an exam with Dr. O’Keefe, he will determine if any treatment is necessary to maintain good oral health.
What Causes Hyperdontia?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of hyperdontia is still unknown. However, because most cases of hyperdontia are accompanied by a type of syndrome, many researchers believe there is a genetic factor involved.
Dental experts have also found that supernumerary teeth form during the developmental stage, due to extra teeth buds or single tooth buds that split or divide. Although it is now understood how they develop, the exact reasons are still unclear.
What Are the Treatments for Hyperdontia?
Treatment is sometimes recommended in patients with hyperdontia, but it depends on the specific situation. If the supernumerary teeth have not erupted and are not causing any further issues, treatment may not be necessary. Occasionally, hyperdontia can be successfully treated with orthodontics. If the extra teeth are affecting your overall oral health, surgical extraction of the extra teeth will most likely be recommended.
What if Hyperdontia Is Left Untreated?
Each case of hyperdontia is specific to the individual patient. If your doctor recommends orthodontic treatment or extractions, and the condition remains untreated, a host of other issues can arise, ultimately leading to the loss of normally functioning teeth. Supernumerary teeth can:
- Increase the risk of infections, including tooth decay and gum disease
- Fuse with existing primary teeth
- Prevent primary teeth from erupting normally
- Become impacted
- Cause tooth crowding or malocclusion
- Result in the formation of cysts or tumors
- Affect the appearance and function of the teeth
Oral Care for Children with Hyperdontia
Routine dental visits and excellent hygiene habits are essential for children with hyperdontia. It is important for them to brush at least twice per day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once per day.
Typically, extra primary teeth can be monitored, allowing nature to take its course. If they do not eventually fall out, Dr. O’Keefe can help you determine what the next step should be for your child.
Learn More about the Causes and Treatments of Hyperdontia
If you would like to learn more about hyperdontia, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. O’Keefe, call our office at (601) 936-2526 or contact us online anytime.