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What Is Anodontia?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Do you sometimes cover your mouth while smiling or talking? Are you missing some teeth? If you ever hide your mouth because you’re worried about revealing that you’re missing teeth, you’re not alone. While feeling embarrassed is natural, there is no reason to feel shame. Your missing teeth could be genetic, caused by a condition known as anodontia. Find out how to get diagnosed and what anodontia treatments are available to you. And most importantly, remember to flaunt that grin!


So what is anodontia? It's a type of tooth agenesis. Based on its severity, tooth agenesis can be classified into three types:

  1. Anodontia. This genetic condition is defined as the absence of all teeth.
  2. Oligodontia. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, oligodontia is genetic. You may be diagnosed with hypodontia if you’re missing six or more teeth.
  3. Hypodontia. This condition is also genetic and involves the absence of one to five teeth.

Although we know that anodontia is caused by a genetic defect, we don’t know which specific gene mutation causes it.

Who is Likely to Have Anodontia?

Dental Research Journal’s review of many seminal studies on the subject reveals that anodontia is more common in women than men.


The best way to diagnose anodontia is by dental X-rays. Some other things clinicians keep an eye out for include smaller teeth, peg shape lateral incisors, conical teeth, taurodontic molars, and spaced dentition.

Since a complete absence of teeth is very rare, X-rays allow clinicians to figure out if there are any teeth hidden behind the gums.


Some people assume that the problems associated with missing teeth are purely aesthetic. This isn’t necessarily the case. Each tooth in your mouth has a role to play in helping you talk, eat, or chew. Having missing teeth can cause issues with function and could affect speech and eating.

How can you treat anodontia? Many patients decide to seek cosmetic solutions like implants, dentures, or bridges. Consult with your dentist to figure out the right option for you.

Oral Care

Even if you are missing some teeth, oral care is still important. Use a good mouthrinse to kill bacteria and keep your gums healthy and happy. You can also brush your tongue to keep your mouth fresh.

Most importantly, whether or not you decide to invest in tooth replacement and seek anodontia treatment, embrace your smile! Don’t let anything stop you from grinning. After all, the world deserves to see it.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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