What Is Hypodontia?

Dentist Blog

There are many reasons to visit a dentist. Not only do they help you maintain good oral health, but they are there to treat any conditions you may have pertaining to your teeth. A relatively common dental malformation that is most often first seen in children but will follow them into adulthood is Hypodontia. But what is Hypodontia, and how is it treated? Here is some information about it. 

What is Hypodontia? 

Hypodontia or tooth agenesis are medical terms meaning being born without some of your teeth. However, the terms are challenging because tooth development occurs after birth. But those with Hypodontia do not have the tooth germs that will later develop into teeth. 

While most people with the condition are missing only one or two teeth, the term describes anyone missing up to six teeth, not including their wisdom teeth. Hypodontia is more common than you may think. Studies show that the condition affects up to 6.9% of the population and can affect any teeth. Some of the commonly affected teeth include the following:

  • Upper incisors 
  • Upper second premolars
  • Lower second premolars

Hypodontia can affect both your baby and your permanent teeth. 

What Causes Hypodontia?

Hypodontia has several causes, but most cases are inherited congenital disabilities. Children inherit the condition from their parents. It can also be a symptom of other genetic disorders or diseases. Some of these include:

  • Cleft lips or palates
  • Down Syndrome
  • Ectodermal dysplasia
  • Candida
  • Rubella 

Other causes include medical conditions, or treatments children experience while their teeth are forming. These treatments include chemotherapy in children under five years old and radiation that encompasses their head or mouth. 

How Does a Dentist Treat Hypodontia?

Once your dentist diagnoses Hypodontia in you or your child, using dental x-rays, they will develop a treatment plan. Depending on which teeth and how many are missing often determines how your dentist treats it.

Dentists sometimes use braces or space savers to keep the adjacent teeth from shifting into vacant spaces. They may use partials, bridges, or dental implants in other cases. If it is just one or two teeth, they may choose to monitor the condition until your child is old enough for some of the other more permanent orthodontic options. 

Fortunately, Hypodontia is not a life-threatening condition, but it can make eating and speaking more difficult. Because your gum is not receiving the stimulation it needs to develop adequately, an unaddressed condition can lead to inadequate bone growth, leading to jaw deformities.

Speak to a dentist to learn more. 


20 January 2023

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