If you've detected what appears to be an additional tooth or a tooth out of place in your child's mouth, it may be a mesiodens. Is an extra tooth something to worry about? What problems can it cause? We're here to guide you through what this condition means, how it can affect your child's health, and what dental professionals can do to help.
Your Child Has a Mesiodens. Now What?
A mesiodens tooth is an extra (also known as supernumerary) tooth that grows in some children’s mouths. This additional tooth most often appears between the top two front teeth and can disrupt your child’s bite alignment and the growth of surrounding teeth. Some parents might notice this condition as an extra baby tooth in their child’s mouth.
Additional teeth are known as hyperdontia, and mesiodens are a specific type of this condition. According to Radiopaedia, developing a mesiodens is rare and only affects about one percent of the population. Boys are more than twice as likely to develop this condition as girls.
Causes of a mesiodens are not yet fully understood but may include:
- Mouth or face trauma
- An increase in the levels of dental laminate material
- A growing tooth (also known as a tooth bud) split into two teeth
Factors that may increase your child’s chance of developing a mesiodens may include:
- Genetics inherited from their parents
- Cleft lip or palate
- Fabry’s syndrome
- Gardner's syndrome
- Apert syndrome
- Cleidocranial dysplasia
- Crouzon disease
The presence of additional teeth may profoundly impact other vital aspects of your child’s oral health. Treatment or removal of your child’s extra tooth may help prevent them from developing associated problems in the future or the need for orthodontic treatment.
Problems associated with untreated mesiodens may include:
- Improper bite alignment
- Disrupted eruption of other primary (baby) or permanent (adult) teeth
- Altered positions of surrounding teeth
Because the presence of additional teeth in your child’s mouth can lead to other problems, it’s best to seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as you’re able. Your child’s dental professional is well-equipped to navigate this condition and offer recommendations on the best path forward for your child’s health and happiness.
When diagnosing this condition and determining the proper treatment approach, your child’s dental professional will often employ radiographic imaging like panoramic X-rays.
Whether or not your child requires treatment will depend on:
- Their age and individual health history
- The size and position of their mesiodens
- The severity to which their mesiodens alters their other teeth and bite
Typically, the treatment for problematic mesiodens will include surgical removal (also known as supernumerary teeth removal). To accomplish this, your child’s dental professional will likely use sedation to ensure your child is comfortable throughout the procedure.
Informing yourself of your child’s health is always a smart bet, and you’ve done a great job doing that today. Remember that your child’s dental professional is the go-to for a mesiodens and that they’re specially trained to put your child at ease for treatment. You now boast a great understanding of this specific type of extra tooth and what you can do about it.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.