People will grow and lose twenty primary teeth in the early stages of their lives, on average. As they fall out, we will grow, on average, thirty-two permanent teeth. This is how it normally works. There are those who won't have 32 permanent teeth, however. Are you one of these people who are missing permanent teeth? This could be due to hypodontia
, a developmental abnormality.
Usually, those with hypodontia will be missing six or fewer teeth (lacking more than six teeth is referred to as oligodontia, and missing all permanent teeth is known as anodontia). These disorders happen because the permanent teeth fail to develop.
It's nothing to worry about if you happen to have hypodontia. It's estimated that 20% of people are born with at least one tooth missing, making hypodontia one of the most typical developmental conditions with regards to your mouth. The condition occurs more often in the case of identical twins. Also, women are more likely to have hypodontia than men.
Hypodontia tends to be inherited, though environmental factors can play a role. Some of these factors include advanced maternal age, having low birth weight, having had rubella, and maternal smoking.
There are treatments available. They include dental prosthetics, braces and orthodontic appliances, and dental implants
. In cases where there is only a small gap due to the missing teeth, Dr. Hill can bond tooth-colored filling material to your teeth, closing the gap.
Treatment for hypodontia is slightly different when it comes to children
. Given that children have less-developed jaws, dental implants aren't recommended for them. A primary tooth can remain through adulthood if there's no permanent tooth below it to push it out of the way. If this isn't possible, dentists may use braces to reposition other teeth closer to each other, so as to close the gap.
Since hypodontia is genetic, any of your children are at greater risk of developing this abnormality. If you are a parent and have hypodontia, inform your child's dentist about it.
Is it time for an exam? If so, give us a call to schedule your next appointment
with Dr. Hill!