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Iconic As the Bohemian Rhapsody: Freddie Mercury Teeth

In the history of rock and roll, few names shine as brightly as Freddie Mercury, the iconic lead singer of Queen. Known for his astonishing stage presence, unique vocal range, and timeless hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Freddie Mercury’s legacy continues to captivate audiences worldwide to this day. Freddie Mercury’s dental condition enhanced his exceptional talent and extraordinary vocal ability, now known as “Freddie Mercury teeth.” His extra upper teeth and distinctive front teeth shaped his voice and image significantly.

Who is Freddie Mercury?

‘’I always knew I was a star, and now the rest of the world seems to agree with me.’’

If you didn’t recognize the names Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, or the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody uttered “Bismillah” and lived for generations, you probably won’t even realize the main topic, which is Freddie Mercury’s teeth. Hence, we are re-introducing You to Farrokh Bulsara, the British lead singer of Queen. 

Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946, in Zanzibar, moved with his family to Tanzania. Mercury attended a boarding school in India, where he learned the Piano; in 1964, the family fled to London. Freddie attended the Ealing College of Art.

In the late sixties, just before joining Queen, Freddie Mercury was the lead singer for other bands. It was during this time that he met his future Queen bandmates: the great songwriter and drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. Freddie Mercury was not only known for his fascinating stage presence and supreme talent but also for his charismatic persona, which included his supernumerary upper teeth. This rare dental condition meant that he had extra teeth in the upper jaw, specifically four extra incisors, scientifically known as Hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth. 

Freddie Mercury believed removing his extra teeth would harm his distinctive four-octave vocal range, but cosmetic dentists disagreed. They believed that his vocal ability came from unique vocal cords rather than the distinctive space that his upper front teeth offered. However, he refused to fix his teeth, and as a result, his unique dental feature became known as “Freddie Mercury teeth.” This decision left a lasting mark, and even after his passing on November 4, 1991, People worldwide still celebrate his exceptional appearance and voice.

Freddie Mercury Teeth Condition

If you watch the stage version of Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll notice that Freddie Mercury is singing with the microphone very close to his mouth. Freddie indeed refused to fix his teeth, but that doesn’t mean he was very secure about it. 

Freddie Mercury had a combination of Hyperdontia and malocclusion. Specifically, he had four extra incisors in addition to his upper teeth, which caused crowding and resulted in an overbite. 

Let’s discuss the root cause of Freddie Mercury’s teeth condition, Hyperdontia, also known as supernumerary teeth. This condition involves having extra teeth; Freddie Mercury had four extra teeth in his upper jaw, while other cases may have different numbers and locations. Supernumerary teeth can be visible or remain impacted. It affects both children (more than 20 teeth) and adults (more than 32 teeth). Below are the different patterns of supernumerary teeth:

  1. Paramolars:  grow next to the molars and more next to the tongue and cheek. 
  2. Mesiodens (Freddie Mercury Teeth): the most common pattern of hyperdontia involves extra teeth growing directly behind the upper front teeth. 
  3. Distomolars: This is when the extra teeth erupt (inline) with the rest of your molar teeth.

Freddie Mercury’s extra teeth caused misalignment and a large overbite, known as malocclusion. This occurs when the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Malocclusion is often caused by crowded or impacted extra teeth. Most cases can be treated with braces or other orthodontics, while severe cases may require surgery. Mercury’s severe crowding necessitated the removal of some extra teeth.

How many teeth did Freddie Mercury have?

Judging by the look, the bohemian rhapsody singer had more than 32 teeth, and this explains the malocclusion of his jaws. He had what is typically known as overbite due to the extra teeth he had in his upper jaw.

Is Hyperdontia (Freddie Mercury Teeth) rare?

Hyperdontia is a rare dental condition, accounting for 1%—3% of dental abnormalities. It occurs in 3.8% of adults and 0.6% of babies, and it is twice as common in males as in females.

What Causes of Hyperdontia (Freddie Mercury Teeth)

The exact causes of hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth, also known as Freddie Mercury teeth, remain unidentified. Overactivity of dental lamina cells is a major factor. Some diseases are also associated with hyperdontia, but the mechanism is still unknown. Conditions related to supernumerary teeth include:

  1. Cleft Lip and Palate: A cleft palate occurs when there is an opening or split in the upper palate of the mouth (roof of the mouth). It happens when the tissue doesn’t fuse during pregnancy. A cleft palate might extend to the upper lips as well, resulting in a split (cleft) in the upper lip; over 20% of cleft lip and palate develop supernumerary teeth later.
  2. Down Syndrome: Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, is a genetic disorder characterized by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21. This condition often causes physical and developmental differences, including growing extra teeth beyond the normal set.
  3. Cleidocranial Dysplasia: Patients with cleidocranial dysplasia may experience abnormal bone and tooth development. There is a 22 % higher chance of developing extra teeth in the front upper jaw area and a 5% chance in the molar area.
  4. Other Genetic Syndromes: Some other genetic syndromes, such as Gardner syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, increase the possibility of having supernumerary teeth in patients.

Is having extra teeth like Freddie Mercury’s teeth (hyperdontia) painful? Hyperdontia (extra teeth) usually does not cause pain. However, if these additional teeth lead to overcrowding or other complications, it may result in pain and swelling around the affected area.

Why didn’t Freddie Mercury fix his teeth? Although cosmetics and orthodontic solutions were very accessible for a man like him at that time, Freddie Mercury didn’t fix his teeth. He believed that fixing them would negatively affect his ability to sing.

Treatment and Complications of Hyperdontia

In most cases like Freddie Mercury’s with hyperdontia, the condition is asymptomatic. Most patients have no idea that they will have extra teeth until the dentist detects them in an x-ray. Supernumerary teeth causing cleaning issues, gum disease, or pain require treatment. Freddie Mercury’s teeth, it wasn’t reported that the extra teeth caused him any physical pain, possibly another reason he chose not to fix them. Here are some complications of hyperdontia.

  1. Impacted Teeth: Extra teeth may cause permanent adult teeth to become impacted. An impacted tooth is a tooth that is blocked from emerging through the gum. Impacted teeth can cause serious crowding, infections, cysts, and cavities.
  2. Crowding and Malocclusion: The presence of extra teeth can often result in overcrowding, displacement, and misalignment, leading to abnormal positioning and arrangement of permanent teeth within the mouth.
  3. Cavities and Decay: Periodontal disease occurs when the gums and bone-supporting teeth become inflamed and infected. Having extra teeth can also lead to cavities and decay. Symptoms may include bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding, and swollen gums. 
  4. Digestion and Oral Issues: Dental conditions such as hyperdontia can lead to difficulties in tearing and chewing food, which can affect the initial stage of food digestion in the mouth and give rise to additional oral and digestion health issues.
  5. Teeth Eruption in the Nasal Cavity: Though it’s very rare, extra teeth can occur in the nasal cavity. Very few cases reported rhinolith, a hard white mass in the floor of the nasal cavity. 
  6. Formation of Oral Cysts or Tumors: Dentigerous cysts are the second most common type of odontogenic cysts in the jaw; these cysts are often associated with impacted or unerupted teeth, particularly around unerupted mandibular third molars and maxillary mesiodens (extra teeth).

Contact Dentspa

If you or your children have hyperdontia or crowding, consult our experts now and book your free-of-charge online session today, or schedule your visit here! At Dentspa, we provide you with a holistic treatment plan and prioritize your well-being.

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