As a parent, you should want your child to be healthy and happy. While regular visits to their doctor for physical exams are most likely a priority, dental exams are also necessary to protect the underlying health of their smiles. Unfortunately, certain dental conditions can develop early on in your child's life, decreasing the further development of their smile while affecting their overall look. Considering between 1 to 4 percent of the population suffers with hypderdontia, understanding this condition is key to your child's oral health. Using this guide, you will have a better understanding of hyperdontia and learn how to treat this rare dental condition.
The 411 on Hyperdontia
Each person's development is different, but 20 primary teeth should erupt in your child's mouth. By the age of 13, your child should lose these primary teeth, allowing 28 permanent teeth to erupt. A few wisdom teeth will also develop in the early years of adulthood, increasing the total number of permanent teeth to 32. If the number of teeth is greater, they have hyperdontia.
The condition affects patients of all ages, genders, and races, but hyperdontia is most common in patients with Down Syndrome, Gardner's Syndrome, and cleft lips. Since environmental issues and family genetics are the main causes, most patients with hyperdontia also have a chromosomal condition.
In most cases, your child's hyperdontia will be easy to diagnose due to the unique appearance inside the mouth. However, the extra teeth may not always be visible, since they may not fully erupt. These extra teeth may remain in the gum tissue, but x-rays will show the underlying dental development.
Dental Dangers of Hyperdontia
The overall effect hyperdontia has on your child's appearance can be overwhelming. Not only will this affect the way they look, but it can also decrease their self-esteem and confidence level. For many children with hyperdontia, bullying and emotional abuse by classmates and family members will occur. Unfortunately, hyperdontia also causes the following dental dangers if left untreated:
- Overcrowding – The excessive number of teeth will crowd your child's mouth, causing teeth to develop in a misaligned, abnormal manner. Overcrowding also prevents your child's bite from developing properly, resulting in overbites, underbites, or crossbites. These issues affect your child's ability to chew and speak properly.
- Fusion – Hyperdontia may cause the extra teeth to fuse with the permanent teeth, resulting in oversized, abnormally-shaped permanent teeth that will require extractions.
- Tooth Damage or Decay – Extra teeth may also erupt too close to existing teeth. This direct contact can damage the surface of the tooth, increasing your child's risk of tooth decay and infections.
- Cysts and Tumors – Excessive teeth that do not fully erupt through the gum tissue may cause cysts and tumors to form. Cysts or tumors will require surgical removal.
If the excessive teeth in your child's mouth are not causing any complications or dental damage, treatment may not be necessary. However, to ensure your child's teeth are healthy and appealing, extractions are essential.
Your child's dentist will conduct a surgical extraction of the excess teeth. Removal of the extra teeth will prevent further dental damage and developmental issues.
Since hyperdontia can affect your child's bite, a consultation with an orthodontist is beneficial. Orthodontic treatments may involve the use of a palatial expander to create sufficient space for your child's permanent teeth to erupt. In addition, braces can correct misaligned teeth. Of course, orthodontic treatments will only begin after extracting the extra teeth.
While it will affect your child's appearance and self-esteem, hyperdontia also damages teeth and prevents the proper development of their smile. Using this guide on hyperdontia and the help of a dentist, such as those at Apollo Dental Center, you will be able to understand and treat this unique dental condition.