June 15, 2021
We’ve been told our entire lives that proper dental care is critical to prevent problems like cavities, decay, and gum disease. And while that remains true, some issues may arise out of our control that necessitates professional treatment. These cases are unusual and unpredictable, but they can be treated promptly by your dentist. Here are four rare oral health conditions everyone should be aware of.
Anodontia is a rare genetic condition that refers to the absence of all teeth. Typically, it’s diagnosed when a baby hasn’t developed teeth by 13 months or when a child hasn’t developed adult teeth by ten years old. Dental x-rays confirm whether any teeth are hiding beneath the gums. If there aren’t any, then it’s likely anodontia.
Since anodontia is a genetic disorder, it cannot be reversed or cured. Thus, treatment will be required as missing teeth can affect a person’s ability to eat, speak, and even breathe. Dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants are popular solutions for this condition.
According to the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Journal (OMPJ), talon cusps affect 0.04 to 8 percent of the population, making it a rare condition. It refers to a conical-like growth that develops at the back of one of the teeth and can cause an array of oral health problems, including malocclusion, gum irritation, plaque accumulation, and more.
The most common treatment method is to grind the cusps down unless they’re small enough to be unbothersome. However, if they contain pulp, a root canal may be necessary.
Tooth gemination occurs when two teeth develop from a single bud, forming what looks like a single enlarged or disfigured tooth. Geminated teeth can cause a misaligned bite, tooth decay in the area where the two chambers join, and overcrowding in the mouth.
This condition varies from person to person, meaning your dentist will recommend treatment based on the individual case. Some patients may need sealants and fillings to prevent bacteria buildup, while others may require shaping and crowns. The best option is to leave it alone and keep an eye on it to determine the best course of action.
Also known as supernumerary teeth, this condition refers to having too many teeth. Most cases aren’t severe and involve 1-2 extra teeth popping up. They usually don’t erupt, but since they develop in the gum, they can delay the appearance of other teeth and cause overcrowding and crooked eruption.
When seeking treatment, there are a few options your dentist may recommend, including waiting to see if there are complications, tooth extraction, or orthodontic treatment. The good news is most cases require little to no dental attention!
Even though you cannot prevent these rare oral health conditions, continuing to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly will help keep your smile in its best shape possible.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Crowley is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and is a long-time resident of the Edmond, OK metro area. He completed an AEGD residency program at OU that allowed him to gain valuable experience in implant restoration, cosmetic dentistry, and tackling very complex cases. Schedule a routine checkup with Dr. Crowley via our website for a thorough examination to catch, treat, or rule out any tooth disorders.
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