On average, people will have and lose twenty primary teeth in the early stages of our lifetimes. These will normally be followed by thirty-two permanent teeth. This is how it normally works, anyway. Not everybody gets thirty-two permanent teeth. You may be one of them. A common reason for this occurrence is hypodontia, a developmental abnormality.
Typically, those with hypodontia are lacking six or fewer teeth (lacking more than six teeth is known as oligodontia, and lacking all permanent teeth is referred to as anodontia). This happens because the teeth fail to develop as they normally would.
Hypodontia isn’t something to feel bad about. It’s estimated that 20% of people are born with at least one tooth missing, making hypodontia one of the most common developmental conditions with regards to oral health. This condition is more prevalent in the case of identical twins. Also, it is more common in women than it is in men.
Hypodontia tends to be a hereditary issue but can be affected by the environment as well. Some of these factors are low birth weight, maternal smoking, incidences of rubella, and advanced maternal age. There are treatments available, such as dental implants, dental prosthetics, and orthodontic braces and appliances. If the gap from the missing teeth is small, Dr. Mike or Dr. Dave can bond tooth-colored fillings to the teeth, closing the gap.
Treatment is different for kids. Dental implants aren’t recommended since the jaws of children are less developed. A baby tooth can remain in the mouth throughout adulthood, in the absence of a permanent tooth below it to push it out of the way. If keeping the primary tooth can’t be done, braces might be used to reposition other permanent teeth closer to each other, in order to close the gap.
Since this condition is hereditary, any children of yours may have a greater risk of developing this developmental abnormality. If you happen to be a parent who is missing a permanent tooth, make sure to let your child’s dentist know about it.
Have you had a dental checkup recently? If not, give us a call to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Dave or Dr. Mike!