An individual who has oligodontia was born without six or more permanent or primary teeth. This condition is extremely rare and, according to a study published in Case Reports in Dentistry, it affects 0.3 percent of the population. These missing teeth can create both aesthetic and functional problems.
Some of the genes that control tooth development also relate to other parts of the body. Therefore, disruption in tooth development can be associated with other genetically determined syndromes that patients are born with. A study published in the European Journal of Prosthodontics reports that the condition has been identified in patients with Down syndrome and Van der Woude syndrome. It may be caused by mutations in the MSX1 or the PAX9 genes.
Associated Risks and Issues
Individuals with six or more teeth that never develop may be at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. A study published in Scientific Reports found that the same genes responsible for the dental anomaly are associated with colorectal cancer cells.
Oligodontia is often nonsyndromic, meaning it may not cause any direct symptoms. However, the missing teeth may result in speech impediments, chewing difficulty and altered dental and facial growth, states the Case Reports in Dentistry study.
Teeth Replacement Process
The replacement of the missing teeth is a complex process that often requires several specialists, including an orthodontist, an oral surgeon, a periodontist
There are several methods of replacing teeth and filling out an individual's smile. For example, dentists can provide dental implants, dentures or bridges where the natural tooth should have developed.
Other genetic conditions that result in missing teeth are hypodontia (the absence of one to six teeth) and anodontia (the absence of all teeth). If you or someone you know is missing teeth, there are numerous solutions available. With your dentist, you can determine the best treatment plan and enjoy a healthy set of teeth.