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How many teeth are too many? If you’re a shark, you just can’t have enough. But, if you are a human, 32 should be your maximum. In fact, a lot of people will get their wisdom teeth taken out, leaving only 28. If you have more than the normal amount of teeth they are called “supernumerary” teeth, and you have a condition known as hyperdontia.

Hyperdontia can occur as your baby teeth are coming in, or during the stage where your permanent adult teeth appear. As a child, you should only grow 20 teeth starting around 6 months. Kids usually start losing their baby teeth anywhere between 5-7 years old to make way for their 32 permanent adult teeth. The last baby tooth, a cuspid or second molar, should drop at the age of 12. By the time you reach the age of 21, the process is complete.

Persons with hyperdontia can grow anywhere from a single extra tooth, that looks fairly uniform alongside their other teeth, to thirty extra teeth—at least that is the most that have been reported. They can sprout from the gums, palate, or any dental organ. The cause and cure is completely unknown at this point, and the only thing doctors agree upon is that it probably has a genetic component. The only treatment so far is to extract the extra teeth so that they do not become problems for proper function.

If you’d like more education about dental conditions and oral health, call Dr. Elhameh Allamehzadeh and our helpful team at Dr. Ellie's Gentle Dentistry. Phone: 619-542-1800, or come by our office in San Diego, California.