Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hyperdontia and Hypodontia - What Do These Terms Mean?

In terms of abnormalities of the mouth, these two conditions are probably among the most unusual, however, they are not rare.  Both are genetic, and each have their own specific causes. The normal number of teeth per individual is 20 primary (or baby) teeth, and 32 permanent (or adult) teeth.

Hypodontia - a condition characterized by missing adult teeth, as in wisdom teeth or molars that simply do not appear in the normal course of development. is often associated with children born with various syndromes or genetic conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Down's syndrome.  It can be treated in adulthood by placing implants or bridges, as tolerated by the patient.

Hyperdontia -the condition of having too many teeth,  is often associated with children who may have been born with Gardner Syndrome (extremely rare)  or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. These extras can manifest as a single extra tooth or an entire second set (or even more). Supernumerary teeth (teeth in excess of the normal number) can be treated by extractions, usually as they appear.

If your child is developing teeth and you notice anything out of the ordinary regarding the number of teeth or, if there are baby teeth that are not coming out in the normal course of development, see your dentist.  Often, baby teeth will remain in tact because there are no permanent teeth behind them. Your dentist will be able to tell with an x-ray.  Your best treatment is to know and have a plan in place ahead of time.

As always, keep smiling!

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