Abnormalities in the number of teeth

Those situations in which one or more teeth, both temporary and definitive, are permanently absent, because their formation has not occurred, or because there is some alteration in the development of the dental germ; they are called number alterations in dental development. These alterations have consequences such as malocclusion or, in its most severe cases, total absence of teeth.

Hypodontia: Absence of one or few teeth. The majority of patients (80%) with alterations of number in the dental development, suffer the lack of one or two teeth.


  • Hereditary factors. Numerous studies have shown that there is a hereditary component, so when detecting alterations in the number of teeth in a patient, it is advisable to make revisions to the rest of the family members.
  • Evolutionary factors. Studies also show that, due to changes in our diet, the evolutionary tendency is to decrease the size of the dental arches in each generation, which causes the arc does not reach to house all the dental germs – a set of embryonic cells that will form the future tooth.
  • Environmental causes.┬áThese include trauma, infection of the tooth germ, radiotherapy on the jaws when the tooth is in development or diseases such as congenital syphilis, nutritional deficits during pregnancy, tuberculosis, rubella or other serious disease that affects the mother during the first month of pregnancy. Gestation.

General syndromes numerous hereditary syndromes can present with alterations in the number of teeth: Down syndrome, Palatal Fissure, WolfeHirschhorn Syndrome, Holoprosencephaly, Allman Syndrome, Orodigitofacial Syndrome or Ectodermal Dysplasia.

Detection and treatment

The most observed symptom during childhood is the much spaced development of the teeth, that is, the teeth sprout widely separated from each other, with the consequent development of malocclusion and aesthetic alteration of the smile. Early detection through radiographs and dental check-ups is essential to better manage this alteration of development and avoid the risk of suffering malocclusions.

Dental alterations can already appear in children’s temporal dentition and, in most cases, these number anomalies in the primary dentition also appear in the permanent dentition, so it is important to perform revisions from an early age.

The most common treatments are the preparation of prostheses or, especially for oligodontia and anodontia, the placement of implants.

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