In the case of congenital and hereditary hypodontia, one to five permanent teeth of the jaw are missing, with the absence of six teeth being referred to as oligodontia and the absence of all teeth being referred to as anodontia. Hypodontia can also be acquired, often due to damage and atrophy of the tooth germ or to environmental factors such as radiation.
What is hypodontia?
If several teeth are not formed, this multiple non-forming is often accompanied by additional dental symptoms. Above all, shape anomalies should be mentioned in this regard. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Hypodontia.
Hypodontia is a technical term from the dental field and describes the missing formation of one or more permanent teeth. The term oligodontia is to be distinguished from the term. This is a special case of hypodontia in which more than five teeth are missing. A second special case is anodontia, whose patients suffer from a lack of formation of all teeth.
In contrast to true hypodontia, hypodontia spuria or fake hypodontia is always the case when the missing teeth are present but do not erupt. While real hypodontia corresponds to a congenital anomaly of the teeth, in dentistry false hypodontia is an acquired anomaly of the teeth, which also manifests itself in missing teeth.
Congenital hypodontia is one of the most common dental anomalies. Missing buds for wisdom teeth and incisors are among the most common forms. As a rule, congenital hypodontia is hereditary and is partly passed on via an autosomal dominant inheritance with variable expressivity and incomplete penetrance. All genes involved in tooth development can carry the defect.
Under certain circumstances, true hypodontia can also occur as a result of a developmental disorder and thus be associated with certain diseases. In addition to hemolytic anemia and Down syndrome, diseases such as Curtius or Bloch-Sulzberger syndrome can also be associated with hypodontia.
Acquired and false hypodontia, on the other hand, are often caused by accidental damage to the teeth, which has triggered premature tooth loss. Damage to the bone marrow or increased exposure to X-rays can also be associated with acquired hypodontia. More rarely, the cause is a central luxation of milk teeth, which can damage and atrophy tooth germs.
If radiation therapy took place before the adult teeth developed, this can also have triggered hypodontia. Apart from the ones mentioned, many other environmental factors are probably able to promote hypodontia before the adult dentition develops.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
If several teeth are not formed, this multiple non-forming is often accompanied by additional dental symptoms. Above all, shape anomalies should be mentioned in this regard. Dysplastic posterior teeth of the upper dental ridge are just as much a part of this as the aplasia of other tooth germs, which indicates a general weakness in the formation of the dental ridges.
Under certain circumstances, a crossbite may also occur if the teeth in the upper tooth ridge are missing. If, on the other hand, the lower jaw is affected, a bite depression can occur. Tilting of the remaining teeth can indicate a general instability of the gums and can occur as an accompanying symptom of any hypodontia. Which symptoms are associated with hypondontia in individual cases depends strongly on the number and localization of the missing tooth buds.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Hypodontia is usually diagnosed by X-ray diagnostics. The lack of attachment of the teeth can usually be easily understood on the imaging. Hypodontia remains static for life, so that in the narrower sense there can be no talk of a course of the disease. However, the success of the treatment depends heavily on which and how many teeth are affected.
Untreated hypodontia often results in severe misalignment of the jaw and in this context can trigger incorrect stress that causes additional symptoms such as severe and chronic headaches. Since hypodontia is also an aesthetic problem, untreated patients sometimes suffer from psychological problems. Therefore, early treatment of hypodontia is particularly important for a positive outcome.
Hypodontia causes significant malformations and malformations in the mouth and jaw area. The patients suffer from missing teeth, so that in most cases either five or six teeth are missing. Likewise, the remaining teeth are deformed or not in the right places. It is not uncommon for a so-called cross bite to occur.
The stability of the teeth is reduced, making them easier to break off and damaged. Due to the hypodontia, the everyday life of the affected person is extremely restricted, since there are problems with eating. Those affected are often dependent on liquid food because they cannot chew solid food. Toothache can also cause headaches or earaches.
In most cases, the malformations can be treated surgically, so that there are no further restrictions and complications in everyday life. However, this treatment is only possible in adulthood. In childhood, children can suffer from teasing or bullying and thus develop psychological problems. The life expectancy of the affected person is not restricted by the hypodontia.
When should you go to the doctor?
Hypodontia must always be treated by a doctor. This disease does not heal itself and usually leads to serious limitations in the life of the person affected if the disease is not treated in time. The doctor should be consulted if the affected person is missing teeth.
The number and position of the missing teeth can vary greatly. In most cases, the symptoms become noticeable in childhood. The dentist can recognize them. In some cases, the hypodontia also causes the other teeth to be tilted or misaligned, which can cause pain when eating. The quality of life of those affected is significantly reduced by the hypodontia.
In the case of hypodontia, the first thing to do is see a dentist or an orthodontist. This can usually treat the hypodontia relatively well. Early diagnosis and treatment has a positive effect on the course of the disease and can prevent possible complications.
Treatment & Therapy
Hypodontia of any kind can be treated with orthodontic, prosthetic, implantological and maxillofacial surgery measures. While the jaw surgery measures are primarily intended to prevent malocclusions, incorrect loading and evasive postures due to missing teeth, implantations or transplantations can also be carried out in the form of operations, for example.
In addition, impacted teeth can sometimes be exposed in an operation. General denture treatments can also make sense and lead to the desired result. The planning of the treatment measures and the coordination of the individual steps can only be carried out for individual cases. Both the number of missing teeth and the condition of the teeth and the position of the entire dentition influence the planning of the therapeutic measures.
The size and position of the jaw as well as existing diseases of a different kind should also not be ignored. In addition, when planning treatment, financial aspects must be taken into account, which may preclude some of the measures available from the outset.
While the congenital form can hardly be prevented, acquired hypodontia can be prevented under certain circumstances. The sparing use of X-rays and measures to reduce the risk of dislocation of milk teeth can play a role in this context.
With the congenital form of the disease, there are no specific preventive and aftercare options. However, acquired hypodontia can be prevented by taking certain measures during follow-up care. Among other things, it is helpful to use X-rays as sparingly as possible. Reducing the risk of dislocation of milk teeth can also have a positive effect on health.
Even after the malocclusion has been treated, the dentist should arrange regular check-up appointments to examine the teeth closely and to monitor the changes. If necessary, he uses additional measures in addition to the actual treatment in order to optimize the correction. Those affected should take special care of their teeth during this time and use the care products recommended by the doctor.
He often gives tips on a sensible change in diet. By avoiding stimulants and dieting, patients avoid possible bleeding. Immediately after the treatment, coffee, tea, nicotine and alcohol can interfere with wound healing. Spicy foods and extremely cold or hot stimuli also have an unfavorable effect on the healing process.
Instead, soothing herbal teas are helpful. The doctor gives the patient useful information about the permitted foods, which are particularly gentle in porridge form. In the case of a pronounced misalignment, patients often feel psychologically affected and need supportive psychotherapy.
You can do that yourself
People who suffer from hypodontia should first have the deformity examined by a dentist. Depending on the severity of the hypodontia and the proposed treatment method, the therapy can be supported by a number of measures.
After an operation, the person concerned should take it easy and treat their teeth with special care products according to the doctor’s instructions. Since the oral cavity is usually still very irritated, the diet has to be changed temporarily. Coffee, alcohol, tea and nicotine should be avoided in the first few days, as bleeding or wound healing disorders may otherwise occur. Spicy foods and foods that are too hot and cold should also be avoided. Porridge-like dishes and soothing herbal teas are recommended. The doctor in charge is best able to answer which foods are permitted in detail.
Hypodontia must always be treated medically. At most, in the case of very slight misalignments, treatment is not necessary. However, the cosmetic blemish can lead to psychological problems that need to be treated by a therapist. If pain, inflammation or other symptoms develop, a visit to the dentist or orthodontist is indicated.