It is a condition that causes too many teeth to grow in the mouth.
These other teeth are also called hypodontia. They can grow anywhere in the curved areas where the teeth adhere to the jaw. This area is known as dental arches.
The 20 teeth that grow when a child is primary or deciduous. The 32 adult teeth that replace them are called permanent teeth.
You may have other primary or permanent teeth with supernumerary teeth, but other primary teeth are more common.
What are the symptoms of supernumerary teeth?
The main symptom is the growth of other teeth directly behind or near the permanent or primary teeth. These teeth usually appear in adults. They are twice as common in men as in women.
The extra teeth are classified according to their shape or location in the mouth.
Different tooth shapes include:
- Supplementary: The tooth has a shape similar to the type of tooth that grows nearby.
- Tuberculate: The tooth is shaped like a tube or barrel.
- Composite odontoma: The tooth is composed of several small growths, similar to the teeth, one near the other.
- Complex odontoma: Instead of a single tooth, an area of tissue similar to a tooth grows in a disordered group.
- Tapered or pin-shaped: The tooth is wide at the base and narrows near the top, so it looks well defined.
Additional tooth locations include:
- Paramolar: An extra tooth grows in the back of the mouth, next to one of its molars.
- Distomolar: An extra tooth grows in line with your other molars instead of surrounding them.
- Mesiodens: An additional tooth grows behind or around your incisors; the four flat teeth at the front of the mouth are used to bite. This is the most common type of extra tooth in people with supernumerary teeth.
Having supernumerary teeth is usually not painful; however, sometimes, extra teeth can pressure the jaw and gums, making them swollen and painful. Overpopulation caused by supernumerary teeth can also make the permanent teeth appear crooked.
What causes the presence of supernumerary teeth?
The exact cause of the presence of supernumerary teeth is unknown, but it seems to be associated with several hereditary conditions, which include:
- Gardner syndrome: A rare genetic disorder that causes cutaneous cysts, skull growths, and colon growths.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: A hereditary condition that causes loose joints that dislocate easily, easily bruised skin, scoliosis, and sore muscles and joints.
- Fabry disease: This syndrome causes the inability to sweat, painful hands and feet, a red or blue rash, and abdominal pain.
- Cleft palate and lip: These congenital disabilities cause an opening in the roof of the mouth or upper lip, difficulty eating or speaking, and ear infections.
- Cleidocranial dysplasia: This condition causes abnormal development of the skull and clavicle.
How is it diagnosed?
It is easy to diagnose if the other teeth have already grown. If they have not fully grown, they will appear on a routine dental x-ray. The dentist can also use a CT scan to get a more detailed view of the mouth, jaw, and teeth.
While some cases of supernumerary teeth do not need treatment, others require removing additional teeth. Your dentist may also recommend that you remove extra teeth if you:
- Has an underlying genetic condition that causes the appearance of additional teeth
- You can not chew properly, or your extra teeth cut your mouth when you chew
- Feels pain or discomfort due to overpopulation
- Having difficulty brushing your teeth properly or flossing due to extra teeth, which could cause tooth decay or gum disease
- You are feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed about the appearance of your extra teeth.
- If the extra teeth are beginning to affect your dental hygiene or other teeth, such as delaying the permanent teeth’ eruption, removing them as soon as possible is best. This will help prevent lasting effects like gum disease or crooked teeth.
- If the extra teeth cause mild discomfort, your dentist may recommend taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, for pain.