Hyperdontia is when you have extra teeth. These extra teeth might grow on one or both sides of your mouth. You might have several extra teeth, or just one. Hyperdontia doesn’t always require treatment. But dentists recommend removing extra teeth if they interfere with oral health or function.
Hyperdontia is the medical term for supernumerary teeth (extra teeth). People with hyperdontia may have:
Hyperdontia affects primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth, meaning anyone can have it. Typically, children have a total of 20 primary teeth and adults have a total of 32 permanent teeth. So, children with more than 20 teeth and adults with more than 32 teeth have hyperdontia.
Hyperdontia is uncommon, representing about 1% to 3% of all dental abnormalities. It affects up to 3.8% of permanent (adult) teeth and up to 0.6% of primary (baby) teeth. In adults, hyperdontia is twice as common in men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB).
Dentists classify extra teeth according to their location in your mouth:
Supernumerary teeth also have different shapes, including:
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The hallmark hyperdontia symptom is one or more extra teeth.
In most cases, hyperdontia doesn’t cause discomfort. But if an extra tooth puts too much pressure on your gums or jaws, you can develop:
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes hyperdontia, but they’ve identified several factors that can contribute to the condition, including:
It’s not always clear why some people have hyperdontia and others don’t. But supernumerary teeth are more common in people with certain conditions, like:
In some cases, hyperdontia doesn’t cause any complications. But depending on the location of your extra teeth, you might develop:
Dentists can diagnose hyperdontia during a routine examination. If extra teeth have erupted (grown in), they’ll be able to see them by looking inside your mouth. They can also take dental X-rays or CT (computed tomography) scans to see any impacted supernumerary teeth.
Not everyone needs hyperdontia treatment. But if your extra teeth interfere with your oral health or chewing function, your dentist may recommend removing them. For example, you might need a tooth extraction if you:
If you have mild, occasional discomfort due to hyperdontia, it might help to take an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen sodium (Aleve®).
No, you can’t prevent hyperdontia. While there’s nothing you can do to keep your child from developing extra teeth, early detection and treatment can help reduce your risk for complications.
Having extra teeth isn’t a dangerous or life-threatening condition. Many people with hyperdontia don’t need to do anything. But in some cases, untreated hyperdontia can increase your risk for cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues.
If you think you have extra teeth, ask a healthcare provider to do an examination. If hyperdontia interferes with your oral health or function, your provider can discuss your treatment options with you.
Visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings. These appointments can help reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues. And if you have supernumerary teeth, your dentist can examine them during each visit to see whether they’re causing issues.
You should also let your dentist know any time you develop mouth or tooth pain. Prompt treatment can help reduce your risk of long-term complications.
If you have hyperdontia, here are some questions you might want to ask your healthcare provider:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Maybe you’ve known for a while that you have hyperdontia. Or maybe you only found out after your dentist took X-rays. Having supernumerary teeth isn’t common, but it’s generally harmless. As long as your extra teeth aren’t causing pain or chewing issues, you probably don’t need to do anything. But be sure to call your healthcare provider at the first sign of trouble. Early treatment can reduce your risk of long-term issues.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/03/2023.
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