Tooth enamel is the toughest material in the human body. It needs all that strength to protect the more vulnerable parts of the tooth that lie below the surface. Tooth enamel is essential to our oral health but sometimes a quirk of nature produces weakened enamel. In other cases teeth may erupt without any enamel at all. Enamel hypoplasia is one condition that can result in such a deficiency.
The basis of this phenomena can initiate even before birth. If an expectant mother is exposed to infection during her pregnancy or if her diet is less than nutritional, hypoplasia may result. Trauma or a genetic disorder can also contribute to the risk. Anything that affects the natural overall development can incur weakness to the tooth enamel.
Fluoride is a proven deterrent to tooth decay but overexposure can weaken tooth enamel. Children up to the age of six years whose teeth are just developing, are most susceptible to fluorosis which is the condition that is brought about by using too much fluoride at such an early age. In these cases, the enamel is present but in such a weakened state that the teeth are more vulnerable to sensitivity and deterioration.
You may notice that your child’s teeth seem smaller than normal or that they are particularly prone to chips or breakage. Pitting is another indication. See your pediatric dentist in Aurora if you suspect a problem. A weakness in the structure of the tooth enamel is an invitation to acid attacks and plaque buildup.
Nothing can truly take the place of natural tooth enamel but there are alternative methods of protection. Treatment will depend on the extent of the loss and can range from bonding to disguise discoloration and sealants to prevent further damage, to installing a full dental crown for ultimate protection.
Join the pediatric dental home at Epic Dentistry for Kids and learn more about the ways that you can promote good oral health in your family. Call 720-721-3600 in Aurora.