Hypodontia is an inherited condition characterized by developmentally missing teeth. The condition includes patients that are missing up to five permanent teeth without taking into account absent third molars (wisdom teeth). In cases where a patient is missing six or more permanent teeth the condition is known as oligodontia and if no permanent teeth are present is the condition is called anodontia.
The condition of hypodontia can be caused by genetic factors or environmental factors during dental development. Genetic conditions, such as down syndrome or ectodermal dysplasia are associated with hypodontia. Environmental factors including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and infections such as rubella during pregnancy can cause hypodontia.
Patients with hypodontia may suffer from malocclusion, inarticulate pronunciation, periodontal damage and a reduced chewing ability. Treatments such as prosthetics and orthodontics are available to help improve the appearance and function.
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