Hyperdontia is a common dental condition in which surplus teeth grow within the mouth. These additional teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth and can appear in any segment of the dental arches, which are the points where the teeth are affixed to the jaws. Hyperdontia can arise in children who have 20 primary/deciduous teeth, as well as in adults with 32 permanent teeth, but it is more common in kids. Furthermore, this oral condition is reported more often in men than in women. In the majority of cases, hyperdontia does not trigger any dental discomfort, but it can lead to pain, swelling sometimes and even infection of the gums – gingivitis, which requires proper medical care and treatment.
Causes Of Hyperdontia:
The major factors prompting hyperdontia are environmental stressors of extreme weather, injury or trauma to the teeth, besides various genetic anomalies. The genetic disorders that trigger hyperdontia include Gardner’s syndrome, in which benign growths arise in the oral cavity as well as other bodily tissues and cleft lip and palate wherein the baby’s mouth and lip do not form properly while developing in the uterus.
In minor cases, hyperdontia does not induce any pain or damage to the teeth and simply presents in the form of excess teeth, leading to overcrowding along the gums and jawline. The additional teeth can grow at any juncture along the dental arches, as a single tooth or many teeth, on one side of the mouth or both sides, besides in either only the upper or lower jaw or both.
The extra teeth that are protruding out and clearly visible are referred to as “erupted” and the supernumerary teeth that remain hidden beneath the gum line are termed “impacted”. While these extra teeth do not generally instigate any discomfort, if the overcrowding brushes against the gums harshly, affects the ease of chewing food or prompts inflammation, then it can give rise to toothache and mild to intense pain.
The diagnosis of hyperdontia in children and adults is quite a straightforward process, wherein the dentist examines the mouth thoroughly and identifies regions where the extra tooth have developed. While erupted teeth that are additional growths in hyperdontia can be easily spotted as they prominently project outwards partially or entirely, the impacted teeth that are concealed under the gumline can be revealed by means of an X-ray scan.
When the supernumerary teeth do not lead to any serious complications or induce pain, then the dentist informs the patient that no specific treatment is required for the minor instance of hyperdontia.
As long as the surplus teeth do not pose any hindrances to chewing food or cause significant uneasiness in the mouth, nearby teeth, jawline and gums, hyperdontia does not require any advanced corrective medical procedures. But in the majority of cases of hyperdontia, the dentist advises the patient to get the extra teeth removed. This is because the overcrowding of teeth in a random, misaligned manner prompts problems in chewing meals and eating brittle foods, challenges in cleaning the regions between the teeth due to excessive growths that could result in gum disease, the crooked form of teeth, as well as massive pain and discomfort. Furthermore, hyperdontia can also obstruct the protruding and growth of permanent teeth from the correct region along the dental arches, due to too many abnormal spurts of teeth in an uneven manner. Dentists also advise the patient to remove the additional teeth if the cause of hyperdontia is a genetic abnormality. Thus, the supernumerary teeth that arise in a random manner and lead to overcrowding within the oral cavity are removed, mitigating pain and discomfort in hyperdontia and enabling ease of chewing food and jaw movement in the patient.