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Enamel Hypoplasia

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Teeth are covered with a tough outer layer of enamel, and although this is the hardest substance in the human body, it doesn’t contain any living cells and cannot repair itself. Enamel hypoplasia is a where enamel develops a defect while teeth are still growing and developing. It can affect primary and permanent teeth, resulting in thinner than normal enamel and increasing the risk of tooth decay.

If your child’s teeth are showing signs of wear, our top rated pediatric dentists Dr. Khabensky DDS and Dr. Kim DDS can provide dental sealants, fillings, crowns or the newest treatment called Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for kids and teens in Brooklyn to protect, restore and reduce sensitivity.

Silver diamine fluoride or SDF is the latest caries and tooth decay treatment. We might use this new pediatric dentistry treatment as a preventive measure, applying it to healthy tooth surfaces.

What Are the Signs of Enamel Hypoplasia?

Sometimes the signs of enamel hypoplasia are visible, manifesting as grooves or pits or white spots in tooth enamel. If the dentin underneath is exposed, the tooth may have yellow or brown stains.

Your child may have increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods, and their teeth will be more susceptible to acid erosion that can occur when they eat and drink very acidic foods or because of acids produced by harmful bacteria in the mouth. An increased vulnerability toward acid erosion creates a higher risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.

Why Do Some Children Have Enamel Hypoplasia?

There are various reasons why some children have enamel hypoplasia, some of which are prenatal issues that include:

  • Preterm births or low birth weight
  • Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy
  • A lack of prenatal care
  • Mom using drugs or smoking during pregnancy
  • Weight gain during pregnancy

Enamel hypoplasia can be hereditary; some children inherit a condition called amelogenesis imperfecta. This condition can also cause smaller than average teeth and other dental problems.

Sometimes enamel hypoplasia is part of a syndrome affecting other parts of the body. Hereditary syndromes that could cause enamel hypoplasia include:

  • Heimler syndrome
  • Seckell syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Usher syndrome
  • Otodental syndrome
  • Ellis-van Creveld syndrome

There are other problems and environmental factors that may cause enamel hypoplasia and which include:

  • Vitamin A, C, or D deficiency
  • Trauma affecting the teeth
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Celiac disease
  • Infections
  • Cerebral palsy

Treating Enamel Hypoplasia

When your child comes to Pediatric Dentistry Center, we can screen them for these types of problems, and early detection is crucial. If your child does have enamel hypoplasia, the treatment we recommend will depend on its severity and will aim to prevent tooth decay, preserving their tooth structure and making sure your child’s teeth bite together correctly. We will also want to ensure that your child has a nice, attractive smile.

Relatively small defects that aren’t causing any tooth sensitivity or cavities may not need any immediate treatment, but we will want to monitor them.

We may suggest topical applications of fluoride to help harden their tooth enamel.

If enamel hypoplasia is causing tooth sensitivity or cavities, or if your child’s teeth are showing signs of wear, we can provide treatments to help protect and restore them, reducing sensitivity. These treatments may include:

If needed, we can supply and fit dental crowns that cover the tooth entirely. Enamel microabrasion is a procedure that can help improve the appearance of teeth and which is minimally invasive.

If your child does have thin enamel, it does mean they will always need to monitor their dental health. When dentists, Dr. Khabensky DDS and Dr. Kim DDS can treat problems caused by enamel hypoplasia more quickly, it helps to prevent more serious issues developing, including tooth loss.

Usually, enamel hypoplasia can be managed by practicing good oral hygiene and by seeing a dentist regularly.

This page was published on Oct 7, 2020, modified on Nov 19, 2020 by Pediatric Dentistry Center

Pediatric Dentistry Center
2148 Ocean Ave, Ste 401A
Brooklyn, NY 11229

The information on this website is to provide a general pediatric dentistry information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect a definitive treatment advice. It is important to consult a best in class pediatric dentist in Brooklyn regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough dental evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your local kids dentist or pediatric dentist Dr. Igor Khabensky DDS or Dr. Tracy Kim, to schedule a consultation.
Pediatric Dentistry Center Material published on the website is for general purpose only. Symptoms and conditions my sound similar but different in nature. In case of dental emergency, pain, or discomfort, we advise booking an appointment with our pediatric dentists Dr. Khabensky DDS and Dr. Kim. Useful Information
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