Hyperdontia is one of the dental conditions that you may not have heard of. It refers to when someone has more teeth growing in their mouth than normal. Whether or not you have hyperdontia, it can be interesting to learn about the treatment for the condition.
The Basics and Symptoms of Hyperdontia
As mentioned, hyperdontia includes having more teeth than normal. These additional teeth are called supernumerary teeth and typically grow along the dental arches. For reference, the term dental arches refer to the curved areas of the mouth where the teeth and jaw connect.
It is more common for hyperdontia to feature extra primary teeth (baby teeth or deciduous teeth). Still, it’s also possible to have extra permanent teeth (adult teeth).
Luckily, hyperdontia typically does not cause pain. It can, however, if the additional teeth increase the pressure on the gums and jaw.
Interestingly, hyperdontia occurs twice as frequently in men compared to women.
Dentists like Dr. Dhiraj Sharma classify hyperdontia based on the location and shape of the extra teeth.
Paramolar teeth grow next to a molar in the back of the mouth. Distomolars grow in line with the other molars (instead of by them). Mesiodens grow by or behind the incisors, which are the front teeth in your mouth. Mesiodens is the most common type of hyperdontia.
In terms of shape, the teeth can be:
- Compound odontoma – Featuring several tooth-like growths that are close together.
- Complex odontoma – A disordered group of tissue that is tooth-like but not teeth.
- Conical – Shaped like a cone or peg.
- Supplemental – Similar in shape to whatever tooth it grows by.
- Tuberculate – Shaped like a barrel or tube.
It is most common for hyperdontia to only feature a single extra tooth and be impacted. Some estimates indicate that there are only two extra teeth about 12-23% of the time and more than two less than 1%.
Causes of Hyperdontia
Although experts still don’t know what causes hyperdontia, it occurs more commonly in patients with certain hereditary conditions. These include Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Gardner’s syndrome, Fabry disease, cleidocranial dysplasia, Ellis van Creveld syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Nance-Horan syndrome, trichorhinophalangeal syndrome, and cleft palate or lip.
Hyperdontia also seems to run in families.
Before Dr. Dhiraj Sharma can create a treatment plan for your hyperdontia, he will need to diagnose it. When the teeth are fully grown into place, diagnosis is as simple as a glance, as the extra teeth will be fairly obvious. Otherwise, hyperdontia may not be noticeable until you have an X-ray taken.
After diagnosing hyperdontia, Dr. Sharma may take additional X-rays or CT scans to view the area with more detail.
Treatment Is Not Always Necessary
Hyperdontia does not always require treatment. As long as there is no pain and the extra teeth are not interfering with your normal mouth function, you may just leave the extra teeth in place.
You will notice that during your initial diagnosis, your dentist will ask about weakness, swelling, discomfort, or pain in your mouth in addition to performing an examination.
If nothing appears to be problematic, you can keep the extra teeth.
Medicine Can Help With Pain
In some cases, hyperdontia will just lead to mild discomfort but no other issues. In that case, your dentist may suggest taking ibuprofen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the pain.
Depending on the severity of the pain, the dentist may offer the option of removing the extra teeth.
The Common Treatment – Removing the Extra Teeth
When hyperdontia does require treatment, the most common treatment is to remove the extra teeth. There is a range of situations when Dr. Sharma suggests this treatment. Most of those situations either put your oral health at risk or interfere with your daily life somehow.
For example, if you experience discomfort or pain from your mouth being too crowded, this will be a good treatment option.
Another situation where you will want to remove the extra teeth is if they interfere with your ability to chew. Some people with hyperdontia cannot chew correctly, while others cut their mouths with the extra teeth while chewing. This is important because extra teeth can cause problems related to your jaw position, alignment, and bite.
Some people with underlying genetic conditions may also need to have the extra teeth removed.
Any time the extra teeth pose a risk to your overall oral health, they will need to be removed. The most common example of this is if they make it hard to brush or floss properly. In that case, you would be increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Another scenario will be if the extra teeth are getting in the way of permanent teeth that need to erupt. This can either prevent the tooth from coming in or cause it to come in crooked. The latter could build pressure in your mouth or cause other issues. The teeth may also lead to overcrowding, which could require orthodontic treatment if you don’t remove them right away.
Most dentists are also more than happy to remove the extra teeth if you don’t notice any physical problems but feel self-conscious about them.
Some dentists always recommend that patients remove the extra teeth associated with hyperdontia for oral health reasons. When you have more teeth, there is a higher risk of tooth decay, tooth infections, and other oral health issues.
This also comes from the risk of cystic tumors or legions forming around the extra teeth.
Orthodontic Treatment Is Also Possible
While removing the extra teeth is the most common treatment for hyperdontia, some situations may require orthodontic treatment instead of or in addition to it. This will largely depend on the location of the extra teeth, your symptoms, and how the extra teeth are affecting your permanent teeth. Due to the overcrowding associated with hyperdontia, you may need to have the extra teeth removed and then need orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Sharma can diagnose hyperdontia and help you determine the best course of treatment if any is necessary. For a consultation, you can make an appointment at our dental offices in Chicago.