Why Do I Have Extra Teeth? Exploring the Causes of Hyperdontia

Hyperdontia is a condition characterized by the presence of extra teeth in the mouth. These additional teeth, also known as supernumerary teeth, can occur in any area of the dental arch and can be found in both primary and permanent dentitions. The condition affects approximately 0.15% to 1.9% of the population, according to this journal, and while it can occur in anyone, it is more commonly seen in males and in people with certain genetic syndromes.


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What are the Causes of Hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia, also known as supernumerary teeth, is a condition where an individual has extra teeth beyond the normal set. This condition is relatively rare, occurring in approximately 1-4% of the population. There are several potential causes of hyperdontia, including:

Genetic Factors

As a primary cause, hyperdontia can be inherited from one or both parents. This is because specific gene mutations, like those in the PAX9 and MSX1 genes, can lead to the development of extra teeth, as documented in the journal “Prevalence of hyperdontia, hypodontia, and concomitant hypo-hyperdontia”.

Environmental Factor

Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals like tobacco smoke or alcohol, or trauma to the mouth/jaw, can disrupt tooth development and increase the risk of supernumerary teeth.

Medical Conditions

Individuals with some conditions, like Gardner’s syndrome (a rare genetic disorder affecting the colon), are more likely to have supernumerary teeth. Other conditions like cleft lip/palate or cleidocranial dysplasia can also increase the risk.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances during fetal development can disrupt tooth development and lead to extra teeth. This can occur with imbalances in thyroid or growth hormones.

Unknown Cause

In some cases, the cause of hyperdontia may be unknown, and the condition may be classified as idiopathic. However, further research is needed to understand the underlying causes of this condition fully.


Symptoms and Signs of Hyperdontia

Hyperdontia, or supernumerary teeth, is characterized by the presence of extra teeth in the mouth. While the condition itself may not cause immediate pain, it can lead to several signs and symptoms that may require treatment. Here are some common ones:

  • Crowding or Spacing: This occurs when the extra teeth don’t fit in the jaw, causing surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment.
  • Difficulty Chewing or Speaking: Extra teeth, especially in the front, can hinder clear speech and make chewing certain foods challenging.
  • Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: Cleaning extra teeth, especially impacted or partially erupted ones, can be difficult, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease. This is especially true if the extra teeth are impacted or partially erupted, making them difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss.
  • Facial Changes: Hyperdontia can sometimes lead to an asymmetrical appearance or a protruding jaw.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Impacted or crowded extra teeth can cause pain and discomfort when biting or chewing, requiring treatment.
  • Complications During Dental Procedures: Hyperdontia can also complicate dental procedures, such as tooth extraction or orthodontic treatment. The presence of extra teeth can make it more challenging for dentists to access and treat the affected areas.

Treatment Options for Hyperdontia

Treatment for hyperdontia depends on the individual case and the severity of the symptoms. Here are some common options:


In up to 30% of cases, no treatment may be needed if the extra teeth are causing no problems. However, regular dental check-ups and X-rays are crucial to monitor the condition and prevent future complications.


If the extra teeth are causing issues like crowding or difficulty cleaning, they may need to be removed. This can be done using local anesthesia or mild sedation, depending on the number and location of the teeth. General dentists or oral surgeons can perform extractions.

Orthodontic Treatment

Braces or aligners may be needed to correct any alignment issues caused by the extra teeth. This can improve the smile’s appearance and prevent future problems with crowding or spacing.


In rare cases, surgery might be necessary to remove impacted teeth or correct jaw or facial bone problems. This may be needed if the extra teeth are causing significant complications.

Other Treatment Options

Depending on the specific situation, other treatments might be considered. For example, pain management techniques can help with discomfort. Additionally, if the extra teeth are linked to an underlying medical condition, treating that condition might also be necessary.



Having extra teeth can be confusing and even concerning. Understanding the potential causes and treatment options can help alleviate anxiety and guide you towards the best course of action. Remember, early diagnosis and proper management are crucial for preventing future complications.

If you’re concerned about extra teeth or experiencing any related symptoms, Eastman Dental Group is here to help.