What to Know About This Extra Cusp on Molars
So, what exactly is the cusp of Carabelli? Who is it named after?
Put simply, the cusp of Carabelli is just an extra bump on one or two of your teeth. According to the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, these possibly form from overactivity of the dental lamina, one part of tooth development.
A cusp is an elevated feature of a tooth found on your posterior (back) teeth and canines. Cusps help with chewing certain types of food by providing more surface area. This structure aids grinding while eating to break down food better.
While maxillary (upper) molars typically have four cusps on the top to help with chewing, some people have a fifth cusp on the side of the first one. This additional cusp is known as the cusp of Carabelli. Georg Carabelli first described this anomaly in Austria, 1842, while serving as court dentist of Emperor Franz.
If you're interested in finding out if you have a cusp of Carabelli, pull out a mirror, have a friend look, or ask your dentist next visit. If you have them, you can find them in the top row of teeth. They would be on the third molars from the back of your mouth in adults (or second if you've had your wisdom teeth removed!).