Just like any other developmental defect in the body, there can also be defects within your teeth. Enamel hypoplasia refers to an enamel defect that can affect primary teeth or permanent teeth. Parents may first become aware of this developmental defect when they notice chalky spots or creamy yellow or brown patches on one or more of their child’s teeth. It most often affects the six-year molars, which are the first permanent molars to erupt.
Although your tooth enamel (or outer tooth layer) represents the most highly mineralized and hardest substance in your body, it is very sensitive to developmental disturbances. Enamel formation can be compromised during fetal growth or early childhood. The following are common causes for enamel hypoplasia:
- Mother’s health during pregnancy (illnesses, diet deficiency)
- Premature birth or birth difficulties
- Medications given to mother prior birth or to child during early childhood
- Early childhood diseases (high fever, pneumonia, middle ear infection, viral infections etc.)
- Poor childhood nutrition
- Trauma to mouth or primary teeth
If you have a child with enamel hypoplasia, your child may be self-conscious when smiling, and suffer from sensitive and cavity-prone teeth. At Park South Dentistry, we can treat enamel defects. Patient may benefit from fluoride treatments, composite resin restorations, crowns or tooth extractions. Even if the enamel defect is unnoticeable in the back area of the mouth, it is important to realize that it is not as structurally strong as the other teeth. Your enamel is the protective shield for your teeth. Therefore, it is worth listening to your dentist’s treatment recommendations when it comes to enamel hypoplasia.