In normal circumstances, the number of teeth you will develop growing up is 20 primary teeth as a child (baby teeth) and 32 permanent/adult teeth. They first appear around 6 months of age and start to come out at or around 6 years. The last baby tooth, a cuspid or second molar, should shed at the age of 12. As the 20 baby teeth drop away, the 32 adult teeth replace them. By the time you reach the age of 21 the process is complete.
People with a rare condition known as hyperdontia can develop more than 20 as a child, or have more than 32 as adults. These additional teeth are called supernumerary teeth.
While uncommon, it is reported that over 200,000 citizens of the United States have hyperdontia, and the extra teeth can appear 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.
Currently, the cause of hyperdontia is unknown but the two most widely-used theories are; 1.) a dichotomy of the tooth bud where it repeatedly branches into two equal parts, and 2.) Hyperactivity of the dental lamina. Both theories propose that genetics factor heavily into whether a patient displays hyperdontia.
The only treatment of hyperdontia is removal of the supernumerary teeth so there are no cosmetic or functional problems.
If you’d like more education about dental conditions and oral health, call Dr. Angela Osborn and our helpful team at Angela M. Osborn, DDS, PC. Phone: 303-799-9993, or come by our office in Lone Tree, Colorado.