Five Things You Need to Know About Tooth Agenesis

teeth on a black background

Five Things You Need to Know About Tooth Agenesis

Many oral disorders exist among people. These disorders can make speaking, eating, and interacting with others difficult. Some common oral conditions include cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. However, oral disorders can also be much worse than those above.

One of the rarest and worst oral disorders is tooth agenesis. Here are some things that you need to know about it.

What is Tooth Agenesis?

Tooth agenesis is a congenital disorder that causes affected individuals to be born without one or more teeth. This can occur in any mouth area but is most common in the molars and incisors. In some cases, all 32 permanent teeth may be missing.

This particular disorder happens because the teeth buds, or the beginnings of the teeth, fail to develop. There are a few different theories about why this occurs, but nothing has been concretely determined.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tooth Agenesis?

The most common symptom of tooth agenesis has one or more missing teeth. In cases where all 32 permanent teeth are missing, affected individuals will have a very noticeable smile. Other symptoms can include:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Crowding of teeth
  • Misalignment of teeth

In some extreme cases, tooth agenesis can also lead to problems with eating and speaking. In addition, because the molars are often affected by this disorder, chewing can be difficult. This can cause weight loss and malnutrition.

Teeth being held to the camera

What Causes Tooth Agenesis?

The exact cause of tooth agenesis is unknown, but here are some of the most common reasons for such a disease:


One of the most common causes of tooth agenesis is genetics. If you have a family member with this disorder, you are also more likely to experience it.

Dental Fluorosis

Another potential cause of tooth agenesis is dental fluorosis. This condition occurs when the teeth are exposed to too much fluoride during development. This can happen if you live in an area with high fluoride levels in the water or use fluoride products excessively.


Smoking is also thought to be a potential cause of tooth agenesis. This is because tobacco smoke can contain harmful chemicals that can interfere with the development of tooth buds.

What Are The Complications Of Tooth Agenesis?

Tooth agenesis can lead to several complications, including:


One of the most common complications of tooth agenesis is malocclusion. This is when the teeth are not aligned properly. Malocclusion can cause problems with eating, speaking, and smiling. It can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Impacted Teeth

Sometimes teeth can hit other teeth, especially when they try to erupt. Impacted teeth are another common complication of tooth agenesis. This occurs when the teeth do not properly erupt or come through the gums. Impacted teeth can be painful and can cause problems with eating and speaking.

Oral Cancer

One of the most dangerous complications of tooth agenesis is oral cancer. It’s one of the most common cancers and has various symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is a lump or mass in the mouth that does not go away.

Other symptoms of oral cancer can include:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • Pain in the mouth or jaw
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • loose teeth
  • Numbness in the mouth or jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing

Tooth agenesis is known to cause oral cancer somehow. One of the main reasons for this is that people with such a disorder have exposed gums. Any exposed gum can be a site for cancerous tumor growth. Another reason is that people with tooth agenesis are more likely to use tobacco products, which can lead to oral cancer.

What Are The Treatment Options For Tooth Agenesis?

There are various treatments for such a disorder, one essential being implants.


People who have tooth agenesis can lack multiple teeth. This can make it difficult to eat and speak properly. Robust dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. They are also solid and durable, which makes them long-lasting. Implants are made of metal, and they are placed into the jawbone. Once the implants are in place, artificial teeth, called crowns, are placed on top.


Another treatment option for tooth agenesis is dentures. Dentures are artificial teeth that are made to look like natural teeth. They are usually made of plastic or porcelain. Dentures can be used to replace one or more missing teeth.

Dentures are usually held in place by suction or denture adhesive. They can be taken out and put back in at any time. However, dentures can lead to many problems, including infection, making implants a far better choice.

Tooth agenesis is a pretty rare oral disorder. However, knowing the potential causes and complications, you can be better prepared if you or a family member is diagnosed with this disorder.

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