Are My Missing Teeth Caused by Hypodontia?

Usually, humans will grow and lose twenty baby teeth in the early stages of our lives. As these teeth fall out, we will normally grow thirty-two permanent teeth. But that’s just the average. There are people who won’t have thirty-two permanent teeth. Do you happen to be one of these people?

A developmental abnormality called hypodontia is one possible reason why this may be the case.


Those with hypodontia are people who are missing six or fewer teeth, while those with oligodontia are missing more than six teeth, and those who are missing all of their permanent teeth have anodontia. With these disorders, the permanent teeth fail to develop.

Hypodontia isn’t something to worry about. When it comes to your mouth, it’s estimated that twenty percent of people are born with at least one tooth missing, making hypodontia one of the most typical developmental conditions. The condition occurs more frequently for identical twins. Also, women are typically affected more often than men.

Hypodontia is usually inherited, but it can also be affected by the environment. These factors can include having low birth weight, maternal smoking, having had rubella, and advanced maternal age. Fortunately, there are treatments available for missing teeth. They include dental prosthetics, implants, and orthodontic braces and appliances. Also, if the gap between the teeth is small, your dentist can bond tooth-colored fillings to your teeth, closing the gap.

Treatment for hypodontia in children is different than treatment for adults. Dental implants wouldn’t be recommended, because children have less-developed jaws. The primary tooth of a child can remain for a lifetime, in the absence of a permanent tooth to replace it. If keeping the primary tooth can’t be done, braces can be used to pull the other teeth toward each other, so as to close the gap created by the missing tooth.

Because this condition is hereditary, your children are at higher risk of developing the abnormality. If you happen to be a parent and have hypodontia, let your child’s dentist know about it.

If you’d like to know what your options are for replacing your missing teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges or Dr. Sheppard. From single dental implants to solutions like implant-supported bridges or implant-retained dentures, modern dentistry makes many options available. Give us a call at either our Rockwall or Paris locations.