What are Supernumerary Teeth and are They a Problem?

by | Sep 5, 2022

A typical human mouth has two sets of teeth: 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth (including all four wisdom teeth). If your child has one or more teeth in addition to these sets of teeth, they may have what’s called hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has Hyperdontia?

Without a dental examination and proper diagnosis, you may not be able to determine whether or not your child has a supernumerary tooth.

Some supernumerary teeth look like a typical tooth. These “normal” looking extra teeth are called supplemental teeth.

More commonly, however, are rudimentary supernumerary teeth, which are abnormal in shape or size. Some rudimentary supernumerary teeth have a cone-like appearance, where the top of the tooth is far narrower than its base.

If you suspect that your child has a supernumerary tooth, make an appointment with our office, Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester for a complete examination and dental x-rays.

Where are Supernumerary Teeth Located?

Supernumerary teeth most often grow near your child’s normal teeth. The most common location for a supernumerary tooth is between the two upper front teeth. Supernumerary teeth might also be found in the roof of the mouth or, in rare cases, in the nasal cavity.

Keep in mind, however, that not all supernumerary teeth are visible. Some do not erupt through the gums and are only discovered by happenstance when your child has a dental x-ray.

How Common is Hyperdontia?

It’s estimated that upwards of 4% of people develop supernumerary teeth.

Although there is no definitive cause for them, studies have shown that some populations are more likely to develop the condition than others.

Children with cleidocranial dysplasia, Gardner’s Syndrome, or a cleft palate are more likely to develop supernumerary teeth, with the incidences equaling 21%, 35%, and 28% of cases, respectively.[1]

Are Supernumerary Teeth a Problem?

In most cases–but not all–children with hyperdontia experience clinical complications, including tooth displacement or dentigerous cyst formation. Hyperdontia can also prevent the adjacent teeth from erupting through the gums.

Additionally, these extra teeth may crowd the mouth, resulting in a crooked smile and making proper dental hygiene difficult.

Are Supernumerary Teeth Painful?

Thankfully, these extra teeth are not typically painful.

In some cases, however, these extra teeth can add pressure to your child’s jaw or gums, making them swollen and painful. If your child complains of jaw or gum pain and you suspect they might have a supernumerary tooth, make an appointment right away.

When Should Your Child Have Their Supernumerary Teeth Removed?

If your child is experiencing clinical complications due to hyperdontia, your dentist may recommend extraction.

Whether or not your child’s dentist recommends the removal of the supernumerary teeth will depend on several factors, including the location of the extra tooth and whether or not extraction has the potential to adversely affect the surrounding teeth.

If the extra tooth prevents adult teeth from coming in, pushing other teeth out of position, or damaging the roots of your other teeth, your oral surgeon will likely recommend extraction.

Tooth Extraction in Rochester

If you believe your child has a supernumerary tooth, make an appointment with our oral surgeon at Dental Implants and Periodontal Health at Rochester. Our comfort-first approach helps keep your child’s supernumerary tooth removal as pain-free and complication-free as possible.

To make an appointment, call 585-685-2005 today.



[1] https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/publications/archives/solares-26-05.pdf



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