Dentist teaching a child to brush teeth.

4 Rare Teeth Conditions Parents Should Know About

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

As your child develops, some issues may arise that need professional treatment, including teeth problems. These oral health conditions are rare but they can be treated by a dental professional. Learn what these rare dental conditions are and how they are treated.

Anodontia or Hypodontia

Anodontia is a rare, genetic tooth disorder in which some or all teeth never form. Although it can affect baby teeth, it is more common with permanent teeth.

If a patient has complete anodontia, none of their adult teeth form. However, dentists more frequently see cases of partial anodontia in which one or more teeth are missing, but some teeth have formed. If six or more teeth are missing, that is referred to as oligodontia. Hypodontia refers to when between one to five teeth don't develop.

Anodontia, oligodontia, and hypodontia are genetic disorders, so they cannot be reversed or cured. Your child's dentist may recommend implants or dentures. It's important to seek treatment early for a child's oral health, ability to eat, speak, and breathe, jaw, and facial structure.

Talon Cusps

According to an article in Case Reports in Dentistry, this refers to a conical-like growth that develops at the back of one of the teeth. Talon cusps can cause oral health problems such as:

  • Malocclusion or a bad bite
  • Crowding of the mouth, which complicates the development of other teeth
  • Irritation of the gums, cheeks, and tongue
  • Accumulation of plaque in the groove between the cusp and its host tooth

The cusp itself may or may not contain tooth pulp, so dentists have to treat them carefully. The most common treatment is to grind the cusps down, but if they contain pulp, your child's dentist might recommend root canal treatment as well. Talon cusps can also develop in adults, so this is a condition you can watch for yourself.

Geminated Teeth

Tooth gemination is when two teeth develop from a single bud, causing an extra-large or disfigured tooth with two chambers of tooth pulp but only one root. This can cause a misaligned bite, tooth decay in the area where the two chambers are joined, or overcrowding in the mouth.

If the tooth isn't too wide, most dental professionals will recommend leaving it alone to see if it sheds on its own. However, if it causes a problem for nearby teeth, your child's dentist might suggest extraction as the best course of action.

Supernumerary Teeth or Hyperdontia

Hyperdontia refers to having too many teeth. According to the European Journal of Dentistry, the extra teeth are most likely found in the upper teeth. Most cases involve one extra tooth. Often, extra teeth don't actually erupt but develop in the gum, which can delay the appearance of other teeth and cause overcrowding and crooked eruption. Your dentist will usually recommend having these teeth extracted, but orthodontia may be a compatible option as well.

Many of these oral health conditions can be treated, and your child's dental professionals are well trained to handle your child's oral health. While these conditions can't be predicted, they can be treated promptly to ensure your child is happy and healthy. As always, ensure your child brushes their teeth with fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay and other preventable tooth problems.

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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