Hyperdontia is a medical condition where someone has teeth appearing in addition to the normal amount of teeth. The extra teeth which grow and fill your mouth are normally called supernumerary teeth. Although a big number of people have these supernumerary teeth, they do not emerge and the condition can only be detected through the use of X-rays. Rarely do the teeth show themselves slightly. An extra tooth can block other teeth from emerging from the gum line as they grow resulting in other dental conditions.
Types of Hyperdontia
The hyperdontia may be categorized according to their shape and position. The various shapes that are known include:
i. Supplemental; the extra teeth have the normal shape of other teeth and are arranged in the normal series. They are however smaller in size than the normal teeth.
ii. Tuberculate; they are also called barrel shaped and take the shape of a barrel.
iii. Conical; they are also referred to as peg shaped.
iv. Compound odontoma; they are multiple small and teeth-like in shape.
v. Complex odontoma; they are a disorganized mass of dental tissues.
They may also be categorized basing on their position:
i. Mesiodens; they are the most common supernumerary teeth. They are mal-formed, peg-like teeth that develop between the two front upper permanent incisors. They are normally conical in shape and are also smaller in size. In addition they have short roots.
ii. Paramolar; this refers to an extra molar which grows adjacent to the molar teeth. They are usually erupted on the side of the teeth outside the arch of normal dentition.
iii. Distomolar; this is an extra molar tooth which is found behind the third molar.
Causes of Hyperdontia
a) Genetic Factors
Genetic alterations are the commonest of the factors that cause this condition. It normally occurs as a defect of the 6th gene which normally encodes for protein substances. This defect is also known to affect people who had soft spots as children for a long time and also people who are short in stature.
b) Environmental Factors
These causes have not been specifically identified. However, more research is still being carried out to establish the elements in the environment that may lead to this condition.
c) Medical Factors
The presence of certain medical conditions may also contribute to the occurrence of Hyperdontia. These medical conditions may include Gardner’s Syndrome, Down’s syndrome, cleft lip, and leopard syndrome among others may cause hyperdontia especially if the conditions occur in children. In the said conditions the supernumerary teeth usually grow in multiples and are in most cases impacted. This suggests that the extra teeth might have developed from a third tooth bud or the normal tooth bud was split.
Problems Associated With Hyperdontia
a) Crowding; Sometimes there is not enough space for the growth of the normal 32 teeth. Therefore extra teeth will definitely cause overcrowding in the mouth.
b) Impaction; The occurrence of extra teeth in the mouth can hinder the eruption of normal teeth or may cause mal-positioning of adjacent teeth.
c) Teeth Resorption; Happens in the event that the extra tooth is interrupted and it grows towards another tooth that is adjacent. When the crown tries to erupt, it can cause physiological resorption of the adjacent tooth.
d) Dentigerous or Follicular Cyst; Unerupted teeth stand a risk of developing dentigerous cysts around the crown of the erupted tooth. The cysts have to be removed.
e) Poor Appearance; Hyperdontia that cause overcrowding and the mesiodens can be unpleasant to the sight and cause low self esteem.
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