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Presence of Supernumerary Teeth and its Causes

Updated on March 4, 2012

A supernumerary teeth is a condition where more than one teeth appear in the mouth. It is also called as hyperdontia. The supernumerary teeth sometimes resemble to the group or adjacent tooth where it belongs. These teeth occur either singly, paired, erupted, impacted, or inverted. The supernumerary tooth causes crowding of teeth and malposition of the adjacent tooth that makes chewing difficult. The facial esthetics is also affected by the presence of a supernumerary tooth. The most commonly seen supernumerary tooth is the maxillary central incisor, which is the upper front teeth, it is also called the mesiodens. The other most commonly seen teeth are the maxillary or mandibular fourth molar, maxillary paramolars, lateral incisors, mandibular premolars etc. Supernumerary tooth occur both in permanent and deciduous teeth.

The supernumerary teeth are developed from a third tooth bud arising from the lamina propria, the embyonic stage of the oral structures. The prevalence of supernumerary tooth have a hereditary tendency and it goes through families. It is also found in certain conditions such as Gardner's syndrome.

A supernumerary tooth may erupt in the mouth or get impacted because of the lack of space to come out in the limited jaw space. Supernumerary tooth may cause additional pressure in the jaw, which causes malalignment of the adjacent tooth in the jaw or even prevent their eruption. Erupted supernumerary tooth cause pressure on the jaw causing crowding and gives an incorrect bite of the teeth. An erupting or impacted supernumerary tooth can produce pressure to the roots of an already erupted tooth and cause resorption of their roots.

An impacted supernumerary teeth is visualized by a radiograph of the suspected area of the jaw. A supernumerary tooth can be extracted when it causes a malocclusion or impaction inside the jaw. Supernumerary tooth is beneficial when there is an already missing tooth in the area of the jaw. The malocclusion that occur due to the presence of a supernumerary tooth is corrected by orthodontic treatments.


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