May 31, 2017
Tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the body, usually forms without issue — but when something does go awry during development, cosmetic and functional problems are likely. Two common disorders affecting tooth enamel are hypoplasia and hypomineralization. Keep reading to find out how they affect kids’ smiles from the team at Tysons Dental Esthetics.
What Is Hypoplasia?
Hypoplasia can occur anywhere in the body, and occurs when a tissue or organ is underdeveloped. Enamel hypoplasia (EH) literally means “underdeveloped enamel,” and it usually affects the premolars or molars. EH is visible upon first eruption of the teeth. The molar is usually healthy, but there is not enough enamel to support it. Sometimes EH occurs as a completely missing tooth, or results in big parts missing from the crown. The enamel may also be pitted or grooved. Teeth affected by EH are at a higher risk of decay, as it’s easier for bacteria to collect in the irregular surfaces.
What Is Hypomineralization?
Hypomineralization in the teeth causes “soft teeth,” where the enamel does not have enough minerals to stay strong and healthy. It shows up at the first eruption of the teeth and usually occurs in the first molars or the incisors. The tooth may look clear or translucent as a result of hypomineralization. The condition puts the affected teeth at a higher risk of breaking or wearing down, especially in patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaw at night.
Hypomineralization can also show up as a cosmetic issue in the case of overexposure to fluoride. You can see fluorosis as white spots on the teeth. It happens when a child’s developing teeth gets too much exposure to the mineral, usually from community tap water sources.
What Causes Enamel Disorders?
Tooth enamel disorders occur when the tooth enamel is soft and still developing. A number of issues can cause hypoplasia or hypomineralization. These include:
Enamel Hypoplasia Causes
- Factors during pregnancy: Maternal smoking, infection, or poor nutrition
- Genetic disorders
- Facial trauma or injury to the teeth/jaw
- Preterm birth
- Poor nutrition
- Celiac disease, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients
- Exposure to medications like tetracycline
- Too much fluoride
How Are Enamel Disorders Treated?
While we can’t replace missing tooth enamel, there are some approaches we can take to protect a weaker tooth. The team at Tysons Dental Esthetics treats hypoplasia and hypomineralization with treatments like dental sealants, which cover the chewing surface of a molar to shield the tooth from decay-causing bacteria and acids. Dental bonding provides an effective solution for cosmetic issues related to fluorosis. For very weak teeth, a sturdy dental crown may be needed to protect it from breaking.
Who Is the Dentist Near Me Treating Enamel Disorders?
Dr. Sanae Berrada and Dr. Glickman are committed to the whole family’s oral health, and that includes protecting your little one’s developing tooth enamel. During a checkup and cleaning, we will monitor the development of their little teeth and provide dental sealants, cosmetic bonding, dental crowns, and other treatments to combat the effects of hypoplasia or hypomineralization.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Are you concerned about the development of your child’s tooth enamel? The team at Tysons Dental Esthetics helps smiles of all ages thrive. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!
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