Aetiology of supernumerary teeth: a literature review

Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2013 Oct;14(5):279-88. doi: 10.1007/s40368-013-0082-z. Epub 2013 Sep 26.


Background: Supernumerary teeth are teeth, or tooth-like structures that have either erupted or remain unerupted in addition to the 20 primary and 32 permanent teeth.

Aims: This paper attempts to (a) provide an overview of the proposed hypotheses and the current understanding of the aetiology of supernumerary teeth, and (b) review the published cases of supernumerary teeth occurring in families.

Review: No studies have been able to distinguish between different aetiologies for the different locations of supernumerary teeth, while, from a developmental or molecular perspective, the proposed hypotheses may be plausible and explains the origin of different types of supernumerary teeth.

Conclusion: The only clearly evident feature, based on the existing published reports, is that it is logical to state that supernumerary teeth have a genetic component in their aetiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Molar, Third
  • Tooth Eruption
  • Tooth, Supernumerary*
  • Tooth, Unerupted*