Interesting dental complications of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome/Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is considered to a be a rare hypermobility disorder. The most common form is Type III, or the hypermobile type. It is the only type that cannot be confirmed by genetic testing. Some doctors say 1 in 5000 people have it. Other doctors believe the more common joint hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type III are indistinguishable from one another. Both disorders, however, are known to cause dental problems. One common problem for both disorders is supernumerary teeth. The problems supernumerary teeth can cause require patients with this condition to find a good dentist Fort Collins co.

What are Supernumerary Teeth?

Supernumerary teeth seems like a series of big words that are hard to understand, but anyone with a basic knowledge of English or the Latin roots the phrase uses can piece the meaning together. Super means above or extra in this context, and numeracy is a reference to the number of teeth. Someone who has supernumerary teeth has more teeth than they are supposed to. This is a common complication for wisdom teeth, but people with EDS/JHS may have supernumerary teeth in any area of the mouth, even into adulthood.

What complications can arise from supernumerary teeth?

If the extra teeth are spotted before the adult teeth grow in, they can be removed to prevent teeth from growing in correctly. If they stay in the mouth until adulthood, as was the case of a patient named Sarah, they can cause problems with another tooth. In Sarah’s case, a supernumerary tooth had erupted behind a premolar. Her dentist begged her to get it to remove for years because the tooth prevented proper cleaning of the molar in front of it. During the 30 or more years Sarah had the tooth, a cavity had developed in the molar next to it. Sarah refused to have it removed because her insurance company refused to pay for anything more than sedation dentistry. (People with EDS/JHS often have bad experiences with dentists. Local anesthetic can wear off quickly in these patients. Sometimes it does not work.)

How Many Can a Person Have?

While there is a record for the number of extra teeth a person has, most people don’t have more than one or two that are not wisdom teeth. Sarah, mentioned above, did eventually get the tooth removed because another unerupted supernumerary tooth was found below it. She went through two oral surgeries just to get a cavity refilled. The dentist had to use a hammer and chisel to remove the second impacted tooth. Sarah’s case is unusual. Most people only have one, and rarely is one supernumerary tooth found directly below another.

Supernumerary tooth in EDS/JHS can provide an interesting curiosity. Even if a person does not have EDS or JHS, he still needs good dental care for proper health. Even if a reader merely fears the dentist, there are plenty of offices that offer more than local anesthesia for people with dental anxiety. Such practitioners of the dental arts are even found in Fort Collins.