Oral & Vision Health Blog

Four Surprising and Rare Dental Conditions

The majority of us will make regular trips over the courses of our lifetimes to the dentist. And, for most of us, the visits will be for fairly routine: cleanings, perhaps a few fillings. Rarely will any of us need to visit a dentist or dental specialist for the following dental conditions—which is what earns them a spot on this list of four rare dental conditions.

1. Hyperdontia: Throughout childhood, baby teeth fall out and are replaced with 32 adult teeth. In some cases, however, a person will grow extra teeth—a condition called hyperdontia. This rare condition is affects approximately two percent of the population. Those with it typically have only one extra tooth that is usually located behind the upper, front teeth. The condition is thought to be hereditary but, thankfully, is easily treated by removing the extra tooth (or, in some cases, teeth!). 

2. Otodental Syndrome: This is a complex disorder with a strong genetic connection. In addition to significantly impacting hearing, the teeth are also affected. The canines and molars become very enlarged, so much so that the facial structure is impacted. The other teeth become crowded or damaged. Treatment is often complicated and involves tooth extractions and repair. 

3. Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome (PLS): This is also a genetic disorder. PLS is a severe deficiency in an enzyme necessary to keep the connective tissues that support and connect the teeth healthy. Without this enzyme, a person with PLS will slowly lose his/her teeth. This starts with baby teeth by age four and adult teeth by early teens. Treatment with antibiotics has been known to slow the process. But, typically, those with PLS will opt to have any remaining teeth removed in their teens and be fitted for dentures. 

4. Gingival Fibromatosis: Another hereditary condition, this causes an overgrowth of the gum tissue. The gums appear extremely swollen and puffy—abnormally so. It can affect speech, and teeth may be oddly shaped or move around within the gums. The condition can be treated with oral surgery to correct the affected area. Success depends on the person. Some people have tissue re-growth, some don’t.

Thankfully, these conditions are quite rare. To learn ways to take care of the teeth you’ve got, check out our oral health tutorial video!

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