Most people are more concerned about losing their teeth and having fewer teeth than they are about having too many teeth. But the truth is, it can happen. When someone has more than the usual 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth, it’s known as hyperdontia. Luckily, this condition doesn’t typically need treatment, but you should still see your dentist in Walnut Creek.
What Exactly Is Hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia is a condition when too many teeth grow in the mouth. These extra teeth are called supernumerary and can grow in various places in the mouth and also be of different shapes. Usually, the additional teeth appear in the arches or the areas where teeth attach to the jaw. Hyperdontia can happen with both baby teeth and adult teeth, but it’s more common to see the condition in kids.
You think it’d be pretty obvious if you developed extra teeth, and it usually is. Supernumerary teeth typically pop up directly behind the already erupted teeth, so it’s pretty easy to spot. However, your dentist in Walnut Creek can also tell if there are more teeth under the gum line that have yet to show themselves by looking at images obtained from dental x-rays. This condition usually doesn’t cause pain, but a slight discomfort can happen.
Teeth Shapes & Positioning
Supernumerary teeth, just like regular teeth, show up in different places in the mouth. The most common place where these extra teeth tend to erupt is behind the four front teeth, but they can pop up in other areas.
- Paramolar – extra teeth in the back by the molars
- Distomolar – additional teeth that grow in line with the molars rather than behind
- Mesiodens – show up behind the front teeth
Additional teeth can also vary in shape.
- Supplemental – looks like the tooth right next door
- Tuberculate – looks like a tube
- Compound odontoma – looks like it’s made from several growths close together
- Complex odontoma – looks like a random grouping of tooth-like tissues
- Conical – looks like a peg that’s wide at the bottom and pointy on top
Unfortunately, hyperdontia is one of those conditions that we don’t quite know the cause of. But it has been tied to other heredity conditions, including:
- Cleft palate or lip
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Ehler-Danlos syndrome
- Fabry disease
- Cleidocranial dysplasia
Treatment & Potential Complications
As we’ve mentioned before, many times cases of hyperdontia won’t need treatment. But there are times when intervention from your dentist in Walnut Creek is recommended. Occasionally, extra teeth can cause discomfort in the jaw or gums. Other times a patient is unhappy with the appearance of their smile due to their extra teeth. Most commonly, too many teeth cause problems with proper brushing and flossing and can lead to decay, gum disease, and other concerns. If any of these things are apparent, you may want to consider treatment.
Treating hyperdontia can be as simple as removing the extra teeth. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend some other forms of cosmetic dentistry afterward to give you a smile you’re proud of.