Can You Have Too Many Teeth?

The average adult dental patient has 32 teeth: four incisors on each arch of the mouth, each sandwiched by a canine on each end, four premolars also known as bicuspids per arch, and then three sets of molars on both arches. These serve as tools to bite, tear, grind, and chew the foods we eat.

But some people might grow extra teeth in the back of the mouth or beside their other teeth. This condition, known as hyperdontia, often occurs as an effect of genetic syndromes. You will likely easily notice these extra growths in your mouth, but a dentist can also diagnose this concern through x-ray imaging.

Many people live with these extra teeth without issue. But sometimes they can disrupt your life or put your oral health in danger. Read on to learn more about hyperdontia and potential complications and treatments.

extract damaged or extra teeth with Media Pennsylvania dentist

Complications with Hyperdontia

Not all cases of hyperdontia will create problems for a dental patient. But extra teeth can sometimes cause overcrowding within the mouth. Patients might feel pain and soreness if there is not enough room in their mouth for these teeth.

Extra teeth might also disrupt your oral function. They might cut into your mouth as you chew, and to avoid this pain, you might adjust your diet or oral habits in a harmful way.

Many people might have trouble maintaining good oral hygiene with extra teeth in their mouths. Flossing and brushing teeth adequately might become difficult. This may mean you will leave plaque on your smile that can cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Sometimes people seek treatment for hyperdontia because they feel self-conscious about the way their smile appears with these extra teeth. No matter the reason, you should talk to your dentist if you worry about the impact these teeth will have on your oral health.

Will I Need an Extraction for Extra Teeth?

As mentioned, not every patient with hyperdontia will require dental intervention through tooth extraction. But you can discuss your eligibility for this oral surgery to remove extra teeth with your dentist when you schedule a consultation.

For mild discomfort from extra teeth, a dentist will likely suggest mild pain management rather than extraction. But severe disruption can qualify for this oral surgery.

During this procedure, a dentist will cut into the gums and bone to remove the affected tooth from the mouth. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area beforehand as well as sedation to ensure you stay calm and comfortable in the dentist’s chair.

You will need to be gentle with your healing surgical sites for at least 48 hours after your treatment, though it might be a week or two until you fully recover. Follow your dentist’s aftercare guidelines to ensure you heal properly and comfortably at home.

If you notice extreme pain, swelling, or bleeding after your surgery, call your dentist. This could point to a dental emergency known as dry socket that will need dental intervention to amend.