Hyperdontia: Causes and Symptoms
Dr. Ashok Kumar Selva
Indiranagar, Bengaluru Feb 17, 2017
It is an oral condition characterized by having an excess number of teeth. The standard number of primary teeth is 20 and the standard number of permanent teeth is 32. A person who develops more than 20 primary teeth or more than 32 permanent teeth has hyperdontia. The additional teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth. This can occur in any part of the dental arch, but the most common supernumerary teeth are permanent, anterior incisors, in the maxillary arch. After maxillary incisors, maxillary and mandibular fourth molars are the next most common supernumerary teeth.
These generally appear as extra impacted wisdom teeth. An extra maxillary incisor is called a mesiodens, and an extra fourth molar is referred to as a distodens or distomolar. Extra primary teeth present at or shortly after birth are called natal teeth.
The cause is not entirely clear. It is believed that there may be a genetic factor in hyperdontia consisting of an autosomal dominant trait with low penetrance. Other possible causes are environmental factors and overactivity of the dental lamina during tooth development.
The dental lamina is a zone of cells that initiate the formation of the tooth germ, which forms the tooth.
The main symptom of hyperdontia is the growth of extra teeth directly behind or close to primary or permanent teeth. These teeth usually appear in adults. They are twice as common in men as they are in women.
Extra teeth are categorized based on their shape or location in the mouth.
Shapes of extra teeth include:
Supplemental: The tooth shape is similar to the type of tooth that it grows near.
Tuberculate: The tooth has a tube or barrel-like shape.
Compound odontoma: The tooth is made up of several small, tooth-like growths near each other.
Complex odontoma: Rather than a single tooth, an area of tooth-like tissue grows in a disordered group.
It is usually isn’t painful. However. Sometimes the extra teeth can put pressure on your jaw and gums, making them swollen and painful.
It is easy to diagnose if the extra teeth have been already grown in. if they haven’t fully grown in, they will show up on a routine dental x-ray. CT scan is done to get a more detailed look at your mouth, jaw, and teeth.
Some cases of hyperdontia do not need treatment, others require removing the extra teeth. It is recommended to remove extra teeth if you:
- Have an underlying genetic condition causing the extra teeth to appear.
- Can’t chew properly or your extra teeth cut your mouth when you chew.
- Feel pain or discomfort due to overcrowding.
- Have a hard time properly brushing your teeth or flossing because of the extra teeth which could lead to decay or gum disease.
- Feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about the way your extra teeth look.
If the extra teeth are starting to affect your dental hygiene or other teeth like delaying the eruption of permanent teeth. If the extra teeth only cause you mild discomfort, your dentist may recommend taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).