Supernumerary Teeth: Their Causes and Solutions

Supernumerary Teeth: Their Causes and Solutions

If you think about all the reasons you might need tooth extractions in Midtown Manhattan, the idea that you might simply have too many teeth in your mouth probably never crosses your mind. Let’s face it: people worry about having healthy teeth, and keeping those teeth intact throughout their entire lives. Few are even aware that it is possible to have too many teeth! It does happen, though, and is common enough that there is even a term for the phenomenon: supernumerary teeth. Midtown Manhattan dentist Dr. Karen Kang can help you to understand why this condition occurs and your options for dealing with its effects.

During development, most people’s teeth follow a predictable pattern. Children first obtain their 20 primary teeth, which are generally shed by the age of twelve. Those are replaced with 32 permanent teeth, which appear over the course of several years. By age twenty-one, the average person has his or her entire set of permanent teeth fully in place. On occasion, however, extra teeth erupt in the mouth – a condition known as hyperdontia. Most estimates place the frequency of this condition at somewhere between one to four percent of the entire population. In most instances, there is but one supernumerary tooth involved.

While the exact cause of this phenomenon is not fully understood, researchers have identified some common factors among patients with the condition:

  • Supernumerary teeth are the result of continuing growth in the tooth-forming tissue known as dental limina
  • The condition appears to have a hereditary aspect to it
  • Certain medical conditions such as Cleidocranial Dysplasia and Gardner’s Syndrome are often seen in patients with supernumerary teeth
  • It appears to be more common in patients suffering from cleft lip or palate

There also appear to be cases where none of those factors are involved, and that has led researchers to conclude that other unknown causes – such as environmental factors – may also contribute to this phenomenon.

What is known for certain is that supernumerary teeth should be removed when discovered. Without removal, they can cause both cosmetic and developmental difficulties for the other teeth. The presence of these extra teeth can interrupt the normal eruption of teeth in that area of the mouth, and can create space problems that can lead to the need for orthodontic intervention. Untreated supernumerary teeth can even create cysts or tumors in the mouth.

There is really only one solution for dealing with the presence of supernumerary teeth, and that is to have them removed by a competent dental professional. Whether your dentist discovers the extra tooth, or you find it on your own, you should act quickly to have the situation remedied before more serious complications can develop.

The dental professionals at Ebenezer Dental have the experience you need to effectively deal with supernumerary teeth, or any other issues related to your teeth. For an examination and diagnosis of your supernumerary teeth or oral hygiene issues, you can always rely on Midtown Manhattan dentist Dr. Karen Kang for the quality dental services you deserve.