FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show An X-Ray Of A Toddler’s Teeth?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an X-ray of a toddler’s skull in which dozens of teeth can be seen on top of one another.
The X-ray shows the skull of an 11-year-old who has hyperdontia, not a typical toddler’s skull.
The image shows what appears to be an X-ray of a skull overcrowded with dozens of teeth, some on top of others. “Toddler skull X-rays are terrifying,” reads the post’s caption. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Italian Doctors Who Have Died From Coronavirus?)
The image does not, however, show a typical toddler’s skull. A reverse image search reveals the X-ray actually shows the skull of an 11-year-old girl with a condition called hyperdontia, which is defined by the presence of supernumerary teeth. The same image can be seen in a 2011 report published by the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics titled, “Multiple hyperdontia: Report of an unusual case.”
The cause of hyperdontia is currently unknown, though it is believed to be associated with some hereditary conditions such as Gardner’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Fabry disease, cleft palate and lip and Cleidocranial dysplasia, Healthline reports. Anywhere between 1 and 4 percent of the population are estimated to experience hyperdontia, which is more than twice as common in males than females, according to kidsdentalonline.com. Other X-ray images of hyperdontia can be found here on Science Source‘s website.
A typical x-ray of a young child’s skull on Radiopaedia and of a child’s teeth on Shutterstock both show far fewer teeth than the image shared on Facebook.