Hyperdontia: Diagnostics, Causes and Treatments
Hyperdontia is a dental abnormality marked by an excessive amount of permanent or baby teeth. In most cases, this harms facial aesthetics and leads to speech problems and oral injuries. Normally, a person grows fifty two teeth over a lifetime: twenty milk teeth and thirty two permanent teeth. Sometimes a “program malfunction” occurs and then two types of deviations appear: adentia (absence of teeth) and hyperdentia (presence of extra teeth).
What Is Hyperdontia?
As a rule, supernumerary teeth begin to appear after the main ones have already erupted, but sometimes there are exceptions when extra teeth lead to a change in the location of the remaining ones, which entails changes in the bite. It sometimes happens that hyperdontia can begin even before the eruption of baby teeth, but such situations are quite rare. Multiple hyperdontia can manifest itself in different ways in the oral cavity. Its manifestations depend on the cause and location of this pathology and can be classified according to various criteria.
Possible signs include:
- false – an increase in the number of teeth in the mouth due to the presence of baby teeth;
- true – when the appearance of supernumerary teeth is caused by a pathological deviation.
Typically, they are smaller in size than normal teeth and are predominantly irregular in shape. They are awl-shaped, with a conical crown and a shortened root. Typically, such a tooth is located between the central front incisors of the upper jaw, but can also be impacted (submerged) and displaced.
Extra teeth growing in adults can often cause retention. This is a phenomenon in which normal teeth are unable to erupt due to the interference of supernumerary teeth. The former may remain in the jaw or take an abnormal position. Hyperdontia is especially harmful during the period of speech formation in children. Teeth located outside the general row prevent the tongue from taking the correct position when pronouncing most consonant sounds. Without eliminating the pathology, any speech therapist will be powerless.
Symptoms of hyperdontia can vary considering the amount and position in the mouth, as well as their impact on surrounding tissues and structures in the mouth. The main symptom of the disease is the presence of teeth beyond the natural set. They can have various shapes, positions and amounts. The process of extra tooth growing in gums is often accompanied by pain, fever, and inflammation of areas of the oral cavity.
Sometimes the process of teething in children goes without signs. The only sign of hyperdontia is the number of erupted teeth, which exceeds a certain norm for a particular age. This disease occurs much more often in adults than in children. Extra teeth in the mouth are mainly located in the palate or on the gums, which is unnatural and contrary to the norm.
If measures are not taken promptly when hyperdontia symptoms appear, the pathological condition can provoke several complications that significantly worsen a person’s quality of life:
- redness and swelling at the site of the impacted tooth;
- a feeling of discomfort evoked by the abnormal arrangement of extra teeth;
- violation of chewing function, which leads to gastrointestinal problems;
- injuries to the mucous tissues of the oral cavity;
- violation of the position of the main teeth (dystopia) and the formation of malocclusion;
- loosening of adjacent normal teeth;
- various speech defects – mainly problems with the pronunciation of hissing sounds;
- deformation of the jaw bones and curvature of the dentition.
Hyperdontia in adults often causes nervous breakdowns and mental disorders. Due to the displacement of the dentition, healthy teeth lose their strength and begin to loosen under the pressure of the growing supernumerary rudiment. The jawbone swells, which leads to pain. Constant aching pain leads to irritability, apathy and deterioration in general well-being.
Causes of Hyperdontia
Despite the evolution of modern medicine, there is no clear answer to the question of why this anomaly occurs. Experts suggest that hyperdontia causes may be:
- Atavism. The appearance of this deviation is explained by the fact that the dental system strives to return to the original number of elements laid down by nature. There is evidence that our ancestors had 6 incisors on both the lower and upper jaws.
- Deviations during the embryonic period. According to this hypothesis, the cause is considered to be various developmental disorders of the fetus in the womb, due to which the tooth germs are formed incorrectly. This can be affected by unfavorable environmental conditions, infectious diseases, endocrine system disorders, and bad habits of the expectant mother.
- Heredity. Hyperdontia teeth develop as a result of genetic abnormalities that can be transmitted from parents to children. In this case, the pathology should manifest itself in the patient’s closest blood relatives.
The causes of hyperdontia continue to be researched. Scientists cannot provide a definitive explanation for this anomaly, but most consider splitting of the tooth germ during the embryonic stage to be the most likely answer.
Treatment Methods for Hyperdontia
Diagnosis of extreme hyperdontia is carried out exclusively by a specialized doctor – an orthodontist, who conducts a preliminary examination of the oral cavity and dentition. To confirm the disease and carry out differential diagnosis, an X-ray examination is performed – an orthopantomogram. If it is necessary to examine the dentition in several planes, computed tomography is additionally prescribed.
After making a diagnosis and assessing the pathology, the dentist has several hyperdontia treatments, which are selected considering the complexity of the situation.
These methods include:
- Improving the teething process in children.
- Orthodontic treatment.
- Surgical resection is often recommended as the most effective supernumerary teeth treatment and helps avoid upcoming complications.
After extra teeth extraction, your NYC dentist prescribes antibiotics and antiseptic oral solutions. The further treatment of hyperdontia will depend on the state of the patient’s dental system. If there are abnormalities in the formation of the bite, the dentist will do several diagnostic procedures to select the appropriate way to correct this defect.
However, there are situations when therapy can be done without surgery. If the teeth are located within the dental arch and do not affect the bite in any way, do not spoil the aesthetics of the smile and are formed correctly, then they do not need to be removed.
Article Approved by:
Elyse Kerschner Pediatric Dentist, DDS