Dental abnormalities are not new. They may be acquired or inherited. In addition, they may vary from simple missing teeth and teeth discoloration to an opening in the roof of the mouth.
In this article, we discuss 15 dental abnormalities that are most commonly seen in children and adults.
For sources of information, we use authentic online articles, government agencies, academic sources, and dental and medical journals.
Let’s get started.
15 Dental Abnormalities You Need To Know About
- Hyperdontia or having additional teeth in the mouth
- Hypodontia or having fewer teeth in the mouth
- Cleft lip and cleft palate: one of the most common dental abnormalities
- Anodontia or absence of all teeth
- Oligodontia or the absence of six or more teeth
- Macrodontia or the presence of abnormally larger than average teeth
- Hypercementosis or an excessive deposition of cementum at the tooth root
- Amelogenesis imperfecta or a disorder of tooth development
- Dentinogenesis imperfecta or the presence of translucent teeth
- Regional odontodysplasia
- Taurodontism or large body, small roots
- Dilaceration or the unusual growth of the tooth
- Concrescence or connected teeth
- Enameloma or enamel pearl
- Abfraction or loss of tooth structure at the gum line
1. Hyperdontia or having additional teeth in the mouth
If you have hyperdontia, you have more teeth in your mouth than a person generally has in their mouth. That is, you have more than 32 teeth in total.
The additional teeth are called supernumerary teeth. They can appear on your upper or lower jaw, but mostly they appear on the upper jaw.
Also Read: What Are Naturally Perfect Teeth?
2. Hypodontia or having fewer teeth in the mouth
If you have hypodontia, you have one to six teeth missing in your mouth. It is the opposite of hyperdontia.
Maybe your jaw is too short to hold 16 teeth on it. Maybe you have undergone radiation therapy or experienced jaw fractures.
It may happen that you are a female and are suffering from epithelial ovarian cancer.
3. Cleft lip and cleft palate: one of the most common dental abnormalities
You have an opening or split in your upper lip. That opening does not completely close as you grow old.
According to CDC, cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects. They begin to occur during pregnancy when a baby’s body gradually gets shape.
CDC estimates that about 1 in every 1,700 babies in the United States is born with a cleft palate.
4. Anodontia or absence of all teeth
Anodontia is rare but not impossible.
It is a genetic disorder usually caused by EDA, EDAR, and EDARADD genes.
The condition may be connected to the abnormal growth of your hair, nails, and sweat glands.
5. Oligodontia or the absence of six or more teeth
Oligodontia is a developmental disorder. It may occur independently or in association with the abnormalities of nails, hair, sweat glands, and tubular glands.
When you have this disorder, you have at least six teeth missing, excluding your wisdom teeth. That means you suffer from hypodevelopment or a reduced level of development.
You may also call it an incomplete development of your body.
Compare this to the hypodevelopment of the tongue. (You have microglossia or a small tongue).
6. Macrodontia or the presence of abnormally larger than average teeth
If you have macrodontia, you have one or more teeth larger than normal.
They are larger because they grew at a rate different than other teeth.
The reasons for macrodontia include the following:
- Insulin-resistant diabetes
- Otodental syndrome (enlarged canine and molar teeth)
- Pituitary gigantism (excessive growth hormone)
- Unilateral facial hypoplasia (your upper jaw and cheekbones have not grown as much as the rest of your face)
7. Hypercementosis or an excessive deposition of cementum at the tooth root
Your teeth look uneven or even chipped. The reason may be more than the usual amount of cementum at its root.
Your gum may be unable to hold the extra cementum, causing gum discomfort.
Generally, you do not require any specific therapy, but extracting your teeth may be difficult because of the extra cementum.
8. Amelogenesis imperfecta or a disorder of tooth development
If you have amelogenesis imperfecta dental abnormality, you may suffer from the following:
- Early tooth decay
- Cracked tooth
- Tooth loss
- Tooth sensitivity
- Discolored teeth
- Open bite (your jaws do not align)
- Tooth enamel is unevenly distributed
In other words, it is a condition of tooth enamel that can be inherited.
9. Dentinogenesis imperfecta or the presence of translucent teeth
If you have this dental abnormality, your teeth break easily. Your dental pulp chambers and root canals may appear very large (for babies). As an adult, you may have completely lost your pulp chambers and root canals.
You have an inherited abnormal dentin structure.
The whites of your eyes are blue in color.
It will not be a surprise if you are from somewhere around Brandywine in southern Maryland.
10. Regional odontodysplasia
Your teeth appear as ghost teeth in x-rays. You have the presence of abnormal cells in your body. Hence dysplasia.
The condition indicates that you do not have enough enamel and dentin in your teeth, for which your pulp chamber appears unusually large.
According to Colgate, regional odontodysplasia causes the following:
- Tooth discoloration
- Soft teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
It affects women more than men.
According to the journal of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology Oral Radiology, regional odontodysplasia may cause your gums to overgrow. Your gums may even completely cover your teeth.
11. Taurodontism or large body, small roots
This is another developmental abnormality of the tooth. In this case, the body of the tooth becomes larger than usual, making the roots of the tooth smaller.
It can appear in both molar and premolar teeth and complicate your dental treatment.
It is associated with many syndromes, including the following:
- Lowe syndrome
- Mohr syndrome
- Aperts syndrome
- Down’s syndrome
- Dyskeratosis congenital
12. Dilaceration or the unusual growth of the tooth
You have a deformed tooth. The tooth’s root has experienced certain trauma resulting in displacement and disfigurement. That is, the root has not grown vertically but went sideways.
In other words, the root does not align with the tooth’s crown.
It is mainly found at the back of the mouth and in the upper jaw.
You have two teeth joined together by the teeth’s cement. The two teeth, in this case, are the upper second and third molars.
According to an article published in Dental and Oral Pathology in 2016, the number of teeth joined together could be more than two.
You may know you have concrescence only when you need to extract one of the intertwined teeth.
A small structure of enamel attached to the surface of a tooth, enameloma is also called enamel globules or enamel droplets.
It is commonly found in the molars of the upper jaw.
You can get three types of enameloma. They are as follows:
- True enameloma – composed of enamel only
- Composite enameloma – containing tubular dentine
- Enamel dentin pulp enameloma – containing extra pulp from the pulp chamber or root canal
Abfraction can be a pathological condition. It can also occur as a result of normal and abnormal tooth function.
If you have abfraction, you suffer from tooth erosion at the border between the tooth’s crown and root. That is, you lose a part of the tooth while biting, grinding, or eating something, not because of tooth decay.
The decay can be wedge-, saucer-, or mixed-shaped.
Dental Abnormalities: A note from SupreDent
Most dental abnormalities are genetic. However, some can be caused by accidents, while habits like prolonged thumbsucking can trigger others. Your dentist may treat some of them. Some may require the participation of a team of dental professionals.
If you have a dental abnormality, do not hesitate to contact your dentist. Dentists are here to help you, not to judge you.
Zhou, M., Zhang, H., Camhi, H. et al. Analyses of oligodontia phenotypes and genetic etiologies. Int J Oral Sci 13, 32 (2021).
MedinePlus. Craniofacial microsomia. Accessed on 15 December 2022.
Smith CEL, Poulter JA, Antanaviciute A, Kirkham J, Brookes SJ, Inglehearn CF and Mighell AJ (2017) Amelogenesis Imperfecta; Genes, Proteins, and Pathways. Front. Physiol. 8:435.
NORD. Dentinogenesis Imperfecta Type III. Accessed on 15 December 2022.
Vijayan, S. et al. A UNIQUE CASE OF REGIONAL ODONTODYSPLASIA. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology. VOLUME 132, ISSUE 3, E113, SEPTEMBER 01, 2021.
Chetty, M., Roomaney, I.A. & Beighton, P. Taurodontism in dental genetics. BDJ Open 7, 25 (2021).
Dineshshankar J, Sivakumar M, Balasubramanium AM, Kesavan G, Karthikeyan M, Prasad VS. Taurodontism. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2014 Jul;6(Suppl 1):S13-5.
Aldred, M., Talacko, A., Steyn, N. (2016). Concrescence. In: Slootweg, P.J. (eds) Dental and Oral Pathology. Encyclopedia of Pathology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28085-1_672
Vanishree H S, and Anand S Tegginamani. Enamel Pearl. Journal of Multidisciplinary Dental Research. Volume: 5, Issue: 2, Pages: 67-69.
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