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Do I Have the Right Number of Teeth? | Our Dental Blog

Do I Have the Right Number of Teeth?

Jan 2 2020

Usually, human beings will have and lose 20 primary teeth in our lives. These will typically be followed by 32 permanent teeth. This is how it normally works. Have you ever heard that not everyone will have 32 permanent teeth? Are you one of these people who are missing permanent teeth? The most common explanation for fewer teeth like this is hypodontia, a developmental abnormality.

Hypodontia is the term for those missing 6 or fewer teeth. Missing more than that would be oligodontia, while those who don't have any of their permanent teeth have anodontia. These disorders happen because the permanent teeth fail to develop.

Hypodontia isn't something to feel bad about. In regards to your mouth, it's estimated that twenty percent of people are born with at least one of their teeth missing, making hypodontia one of the most typical developmental conditions. Hypodontia is more prevalent in the case of identical twins. Also, women tend to be affected more often than men.

Hypodontia tends to be a hereditary trait, though environmental factors also play a role. These factors can include maternal smoking, having low birth weight, having had rubella, and advanced maternal age. There are treatments available for hypodontia. These include dental prosthetics, implants, and braces and orthodontic appliances. Additionally, if the gap from the missing teeth is small, Dr. Sato can bond tooth-colored fillings to your teeth, closing the gap.

Hypodontia treatment is slightly different for kids. Implants wouldn't be recommended, because the jaws of children are less developed. The primary tooth of a child can remain in the mouth through adulthood, in the absence of a permanent tooth below it to push it out of the way. If preserving the primary tooth is impossible, dentists can use braces to pull the surrounding teeth toward each other, closing the gap between the teeth.

If you are a parent and have hypodontia, make sure to inform your child's dentist about your condition. Because this condition is genetic, any of your children are at greater risk of developing this developmental abnormality.

Are you overdue for your exam? If so, give us a call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sato!

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Steve A. Sato, DDS
1222 S. Patterson Blvd
Dayton, OH 45402

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