What if you had more than the normal amount of teeth in your mouth? Would you think that more is better? The average adult should have 32 teeth—including wisdom teeth. If you have had your wisdom teeth out, as many people do, you will have 28. Even one extra tooth might cause problems with your bite alignment, more than one will probably give you difficulty chewing, and speaking.
This isn’t just a hypothetical. There is a condition known as hyperdontia that over 200,000 Americans suffer from. This ailment produces extra, what they call “supernumerary” teeth that can emerge in any area of the dental arch (palate) or in any dental organ. Males get hyperdontia twice as often as females, and the majority of cases are limited to a single extra tooth. Although, there are verified reports of persons who have over 30 additional supernumerary teeth.
The cause of hyperdontia is currently unknown, but there are theories that are being explored. Most researchers agree that there is some genetic component as to who contracts the syndrome. The only treatment for it is to extract the supernumerary teeth as they appear so that they do not adversely affect proper alignment of the teeth or offset the jaw. Search “hyperdontia” images online for an interesting gallery of the condition.
If you’d like more education about dental conditions and oral health, call Dr. James N. Aldridge Jr. and our helpful team at James Aldridge Jr. DDS. Phone: 304-523-3666, or come by our office in Huntington, West Virginia.