More than 32 teeth in your mouth?

August 1, 2019

Having an extra eye or heart sounds too weird? How do extra teeth in mouth sound like?

We usually have 20 milk teeth and 32 adult teeth. But there are certain conditions where a patient may have more than 32 teeth! This condition is known as Hyperdontia. According to the studies, 3% of the population has more than 32 teeth in their mouth.

A recent case in Chennai

Chennai dental surgeons extracted 526 teeth from the mouth of a 7-year-old boy in a rare surgery performed at the city’s Saveetha Dental College and Hospital.

He was suffering from a rare case of “compound composite odontoma” that is more than 32 teeth in the mouth. The boy experienced swelling in his lower right jaw and was immediately rushed to the hospital.

The parents first noticed the swelling when the boy was 3 years old. But they didn’t bother since the swelling wasn’t much then and the boy did not cooperate with investigative procedures earlier.

Later as swelling kept on increasing over the years, the parents brought the boy to the hospital. An X-ray and CT-scan of the boy’s lower right jaw showed a lot of rudimentary teeth following which the doctors decided to go ahead with the surgery.

The surgery was done under general anesthesia and when they opened the jaw they saw a bag/sack inside it. The sack weighed about 200 grams and was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth that were small, medium and big sized.

Though some were very tiny calcified particles, the doctors said, they had the properties of teeth. It took 5 long hours for the dental surgeons to remove all the minute teeth from the sack. “It was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster, and the boy was normal three days after the surgery, the doctors said.

What is Hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia is a condition where multiple factors give rise to the growth of more than 32 teeth in the mouth. These are called supernumerary teeth.

These extra teeth may be present anywhere and are embedded in the bony jaw just like the other teeth. They may appear to be different than the rest of the teeth. Sometimes these extra teeth can also be fused or attached with the nearby tooth.

Where are these extra teeth present?

Extra teeth can be present near the molars in the back of the jaw in the form of small conical projections, in the spaces between the teeth, they can be protruding out of the bony arch.

It can be present between the two front teeth called mesiodens. In some cases, supernumerary teeth have shown to be present on the palate that is behind the two front teeth.

Sometimes, they’re even present inside the jawbone, growing under your nose! An extra tooth can be present anywhere in the mouth.

What can go wrong due to Hyperdontia?

Extra teeth try to squeeze into the spaces available and pressurize the nearby structures. It can disturb the whole alignment of the dental arch giving rise to problems like crowding of the teeth, pushing the other teeth out of alignment and sometimes cause the rotation of the tooth beside it. This hampers the entire biting pattern of the person.

In the case of multiple teeth present in the jaw bone, the patient experiences jaw swelling and pain. Routine activities like eating, swallowing, laughing and other facial expressions become difficult.

The extra teeth may have sharp edges that may irritate the soft tissues of the mouth and can cause frequent ulcerations.

It can also cause the attrition of the tooth in the opposite jaw due to the wrong biting pressure and wrong chewing habits.

Maintaining oral hygiene becomes challenging in these areas which leads to more plaque and calculus deposition which causes gingival infections over a period of time.

Hyperdontia Causes

Our tooth is developed from the small tooth buds present within the jaw (dental lamina) even before our birth. Supernumerary teeth have known to be formed due to overactivity of this dental lamina to form extra tooth buds from which extra teeth are formed. Sometimes also the growing tooth bud may be malformed and divided to form two teeth.

Hereditary also plays a role in the occurrence of these supernumerary teeth. However, the specific reason for which the supernumerary teeth arise is not clearly understood.

Conditions in which supernumerary teeth occur are Gardner’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Fabry disease, cleft lip and cleft palate and sometimes it can also occur in absolutely normal and healthy persons.

Hyperdontia Treatment

The treatment may vary from person to person. Tooth extraction and orthodontic treatment are the most common treatment regime for hyperdontia.

Tooth extraction is the choice of treatment where the supernumerary tooth is hampering the nearby structures and teeth beside it. If minor alignment corrections could solve the dental problem, then a conservative approach can be done via orthodontic treatment.

Oral hygiene maintenance is a must for people with supernumerary teeth. Brushing regularly twice a day, use of mouthwashes after your meals, flossing, and tongue cleaning are the important oral hygiene regimes must one follow. Always get a professional cleaning and polishing done from your dentist once every 6 months.

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