Why Does Your Child Have An Extra Adult Tooth?

Does your child appear to have an extra tooth in his or her mouth? Perhaps one baby tooth fell out and two adult ones came in, or maybe there is an extra tooth growing in behind or in front of the regular row of teeth. There are two possible explanations for this issue. Either one of your child's adult teeth is growing in the wrong place, or your child really does have an extra tooth. Extra teeth are not as uncommon as you might think, and this article will give you some more information about the condition. 

Hyperdontia: An Overview

Hyperdontia is a genetic condition that results in a person being born with more than the normal 32 adult teeth. Often, nobody knows a child has this condition until he or she reaches the age of 7 or 8 and the adult teeth start to erupt. At this time, these extra teeth start erupting from the gums along with the normal adult teeth.

Hyperdontia can occur in many different ways. Sometimes, a person simply has one extra tooth that grows behind or in front of a normal tooth. Other times, there may be an entire extra row of front teeth. Some people have more than 4 wisdom teeth and don't learn this until they go to have their wisdom teeth removed, and still others have extra molars or premolars that start erupting to the inside of the front teeth.

Diagnosing Hyperdontia

If you suspect your child may have hyperdontia, you should make an appointment with his or her dentist. The dentist can take x-rays to determine the location of all of the teeth that have yet to erupt. This way, you and your child won't be traumatized and surprised if more extra teeth show up. Also, if your child only appears to have one extra tooth, there is a chance that it's a normal tooth that erupted in the wrong place. Your dentist will be able to tell the difference and may recommend braces to shift that misplaced tooth, or even remove it if it's causing trouble.

Treating Hyperdontia

There are really only two possible ways to deal with hyperdontia: pull the extra teeth out, or leave them in place. Usually, the extra teeth are bothersome. Either they rub on the tongue, make it hard to chew, or push the healthy teeth out of place. For this reason, your dentist will probably pull them promptly. However, in the rare case that the extra teeth don't cause any issues, your dentist may simply leave them in place for the time being and allow the other teeth to erupt around them. Then, he or she can remove them later on along with the wisdom teeth or other teeth that your child needs to have pulled.

Causes of Hyperdontia

Hyperdontia is a genetic condition. If your child was born with it, there is nothing you could have done to prevent it. You cannot give your child hyperdontia by feeding him or her the wrong foods, or by forgetting to brush the teeth every day. Hyperdontia is not extremely rare – between 1 and 4% of the population have it, so you should not feel like your child is strange or abnormal.

You should be aware that because hyperdontia is a genetic condition, your child may pass it on to his or her children. There's really no reason for concern, and it would be irregular for your child to choose not to have children for fear of passing on hyperdontia, since it's so easy to treat. However, when your child reaches the age where he or she can understand the idea of inheritance, you should let that child know that his or her children may have hyperdontia as well. This way, he or she can be on the lookout for the abnormality and catch it early.

Many people are born with extra teeth. Whether your child's tooth really is an extra, or it's just a misplaced normal tooth, there's no reason to panic. Dentists see this issue often and can address it safely and easily.

For more information, contact a local dentist or visit http://www.drgdentistry.com.