The Cause of Extra Teeth Growing in the Mouth! (FACTS)

What is the cause of extra teeth growing in the mouth? Extra teeth, also known as supernumerary teeth and hyperdontia, affect more than 2% of adults and 3% of children. This is generally characterized by an extra tooth or teeth developing just about anywhere in your mouth, including the palate or the roof of the mouth. It can also result in an extra tooth growing in the back of the mouth near the molars.

Extra Teeth Growing in Your Mouth?!

The extra tooth or teeth can emerge in various shapes, including peg shaped teeth, small tooth-like clusters, elongated teeth, and various other forms.  Extra teeth are usually discovered on x-rays when your child begins dental visits. Most extra teeth form as part of the permanent dentition, but some can be present while baby teeth are still in the mouth.  Extra teeth generally do not cause pain; however, they can cause various issues, such as a misalignment of the teeth, in which case they may need to be removed.  Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is often needed to realign the teeth after the extra teeth are removed.

Supernumerary teeth can occur for several reasons, including excessive activity of the group of cells that spur the growth of the tooth germ, also known as the dental lamina. The tooth germ is responsible for developing the tooth, which in the case of an overactive dental lamina can cause it to produce additional teeth in the mouth. Additional teeth can also sometimes be brought on by certain environmental factors. However, various reports show that the most common cause of an extra tooth in roof of the mouth, as well as other parts of the mouth, tends to be genetics.

Genetic conditions that can cause extra teeth to grow:

Cleft Lip and/or Palate

  • Cleft Lip and/or Palate Cleft lip or/and palate, which is a skull and oral deformity, occurs during the advanced stages in utero while the infant is still developing. During early pregnancy, the infant’s facial features develop individually and then fuse together. However, if some sections of the face fail to connect together, the infant is born with a cleft, which can occur with the lip, the palate, or both the lip and the palate, and ultimately affect how the child’s teeth erupt.

Gardner’s Syndrome

  • Gardner’s Syndrome is an inherited disease that, though it occurs infrequently, causes harmless tumors that have the potential to develop into cancer. Abnormal growths of tissue can develop in different parts of the body, including the mouth where they can cause dental abnormalities.

Cleidocranial Dysplasia

  • Cleidocranial Dysplasia is a genetic condition that mostly affects the development of the bones and teeth, which can create dental abnormalities. Dental abnormalities can include delayed adult teeth, loss of baby teeth, unusually shaped teeth, out of line jaw and teeth, and additional teeth, typically accompanied by polyps in the gums.

Ehlers-Danos Syndrome

  • Ehlers-Danos Syndrome impacts joining tissue in the body, mainly the walls of the arteries, veins, and capillaries, as well as skin joints. Individuals with this genetic disorder typically experience delicate, extremely pliable connective tissue, which can affect the gums as well as the molar teeth and even permit the eruption of additional teeth.

Fabry Disease

  • Fabry Disease is a metabolic disease. This is caused by a lack of certain enzymes, causing irregular storage of matter in various tissues in the body, which can result in various abnormalities throughout the body, including supernumerary teeth in the oral and craniofacial cavities.

How are “Extra Teeth” (Supernumerary Teeth) Treated?

Supernumerary teeth generally must be extracted.  Your orthodontist will help gauge the best time to have the extra teeth extracted. If the teeth are not causing pain or affecting the eruption of other teeth, it is generally best to wait until the patient is old enough to handle the surgical procedure needed to remove the extra teeth.  Supernumerary teeth that have erupted are usually much easier to extract than extra teeth that are stuck in the gums.  There are many factors that go into the orthodontist deciding what time is best to have them extracted.  Once your general or pediatric dentist diagnosis the extra tooth, you should see an orthodontist as soon as possible so they can guide you through the process of when best to have the tooth extracted.


What will Happen if Supernumerary Teeth are Left Untreated?

If left untreated, extra teeth growing in adults can cause significant crowding that can lead to various dental issues. Meanwhile, extra teeth growing in children can retard the development of adjoining teeth, which can cause pain. They can also lead to rotated or incorrectly positioned teeth. Extra teeth growing in children can also cause tooth deformity, speech impediments, and distorted facial features. Especially in the case of overcrowded teeth, which can affect your child’s self-esteem.

In rare cases, an extra tooth that has become loose can pose a risk of pronounced breathing issues. This happens as they detach and get trap in the lung. Furthermore, extra tooth growing in the roof of the mouth or an extra tooth growing in the back of mouth can also cause polyps and tumors.


About Us

Your smile says a lot about you and is often one of the main features that initially grabs people’s attention. It’s also one of the greatest things they remember about you, so don’t trust it to just anyone. Instead, consider a dental practice that cares. At Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics Spartanburg, SC, Drs. Nease and Higginbotham are orthodontists, which means their skills and credentials go way beyond just basic dentistry but actually involve the decisions surrounding removing extra teeth, as well as addressing other orthodontic issues that can ultimately affect the shape and health of your mouth.

If you have an extra tooth growing in your mouth,  either as a child or an adult, we can recommend the best orthodontic treatment for you, including braces as needed. This can help get your teeth in their best shape and revive your self-confidence for a happier, brighter you! Your smile matters, so don’t settle for suffering from crooked, misaligned, or extra teeth. Contact our practice to see how we can help.

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Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics
2455 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29307
Phone: (864) 579-7700

The Cause of Extra Teeth Growing in the Mouth! (FACTS)

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