If you have extra teeth growing in your gums, or you notice your child has extra teeth growing behind their baby teeth, you probably have a few questions! “Hyperdontia” (excessive teeth) can be alarming if you aren’t familiar with this condition.
For people who have extra teeth growing in their gums, what causes this condition? Can treatment with braces fix it?
Here’s everything you need to know about hyperdontia and braces!
What is hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia is an orthodontic condition characterized by an excess of teeth growing in the mouth. This may be an extra tooth behind the front teeth, extra teeth behind the back molars, or extra teeth growing in the gums. These additional teeth are called “supernumerary teeth” and can develop almost anywhere in the mouth.
Who does hyperdontia affect?
While hyperdontia can affect anyone at any age, this condition is present in an estimated 0.1% to 3.8% of adults with permanent teeth and an estimated 0.3% to 0.6% in children with primary teeth. Extra teeth growing in adults is twice as likely to affect men than women.
What causes hyperdontia?
This condition is relatively rare. Hyperdontia causes include a variety of genetic disorders and syndromes, such as cleft lip and palate (a birth defect caused by the area above the mouth not fully developing), cleidocranial dysplasia (a condition that causes an abnormal formation of bones in the skull) and trichorhinophalangeal syndrome (another rare disease that leads to bone and joint malformations).
Is hyperdontia dangerous?
Hyperdontia is not “dangerous”; however, it can lead to a number of challenges that affect a person’s quality of life. A person with extra teeth may experience:
- Poor oral hygiene due to difficulties cleaning each tooth
- Increased risk of cysts forming in the mouth
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty biting or chewing food
- Root resorption (the body starts to break down surrounding tooth roots and tissues)
- Facial irregularities due to the jaw bones accommodating an excess of teeth
Is hyperdontia treatable with braces?
In most cases, yes! The primary treatment route for hyperdontia is hyperdontia surgery, which involves extraction of additional teeth, followed by a full treatment of braces (or Invisalign®) to realign the teeth and jaw bones.
Although, since each case of hyperdontia is unique, with various factors affecting the patient’s condition, effective treatment routes differ from case to case. Some cases will require tooth extraction, while other cases of hyperdontia may be treatable with orthodontics alone and no surgery necessary.
Treatment will depend on the age of the patient, the location of the supernumerary teeth, and the presence of other conditions (like crowded teeth or missing teeth).
For example, if you have impacted teeth (teeth stuck in the gum tissue), this can affect surrounding teeth and cause malocclusion (misalignment in the teeth). Missing teeth due to hyperdontia can also cause surrounding teeth to drift toward the open spaces, which can create a severe misalignment and lead to crooked teeth, gaps and spaces.
What to do if you or your child has hyperdontia
If you’re an adult with hyperdontia or you notice your child has extra teeth behind their baby teeth, it’s important to visit a qualified orthodontist as soon as possible in order to prevent the condition from worsening and leading to other problems.
Children should receive their first orthodontic exam by age 7, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. By this age, your experienced orthodontist can identify problematic conditions and determine whether hyperdontia teeth removal is necessary for treating or preventing challenging symptoms.
When orthodontic conditions are diagnosed in the younger years, we can develop a treatment plan that works with the natural growth and development of permanent teeth – which can reduce treatment time and require less-intensive treatments.
Schedule a complimentary consultation.
If you or your child is in need of treatment, we encourage you to schedule your complimentary consultation with us at our orthodontist office in Summerlin, Las Vegas. We offer free first visits that include an exam and consultation from a 5-star orthodontist, as well as x-rays and diagnostic photos.
Once your orthodontist assesses your smile, we’ll discuss you or your child’s current condition and create a customized treatment plan that removes or realigns extra teeth to restore your smile and quality of life.
If hyperdontia teeth removal is the best route before beginning orthodontic treatment, we will refer you to an excellent oral surgeon and explain the process to you to ensure that you feel comfortable.
Once surgery is complete (if necessary), we can begin orthodontic treatment with braces (traditional braces, or advanced self-ligating metal or clear braces) or Invisalign clear aligners to align the teeth, align the jaw bones, and create a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts for a lifetime.
Dr. Saxe, Dr. Drowley and our team at Saxe Orthodontics have the experience you and your family need to achieve a healthy smile in the shortest time possible.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to discuss any of our treatment options with you.