Enamel hypoplasia means a specific tooth or more than a one tooth is deprived of sufficient enamel. The following HealthHearty article elaborates more on the causes of this dental problem.
The term ‘enamel hypoplasia’ refers to a dental problem in which one or more teeth suffer from poor formation of enamel. Enamel is the white portion of the tooth that conceals the crown of the tooth. In this condition, usually the enamel is not completely absent. The quantity of enamel present is insufficient to cover the crown of the teeth. Now, how to identify this abnormal growth of enamel? Usually the affected tooth appears yellow in color. In fact, less presence of enamel is one of the primary causes of yellow teeth. Also, the surface of the tooth is no longer smooth as there is formation of pits due to erosion of enamel. No wonder, pitted teeth accompanied by discoloration is often associated with enamel hypoplasia.
A blunt injury to the tooth in early childhood can negatively affect dental health and cause enamel defect.
At the time of tooth development, if the infant is deprived of essential nutrients like vitamin A, C, and D, it can lead to poor formation of enamel. An important constituent of a tooth’s enamel is keratin. For proper keratin development, there should be sufficient supply of vitamin A. However, with inadequate vitamin A, keratin formation takes a backseat, leading to poor development of enamel.
Antibiotic usage can also interfere with enamel formation. Condition of enamel hypoplasia in children can be seen sometimes because of antibiotics prescribed. In this case, the child can suffer from abnormally low amount of enamel.
Very high fever due to infections during childhood can also trigger tooth enamel loss. As a result, by the time these affected children attain adulthood, tooth discoloration is distinctly visible.
In an attempt to enjoy the taste of candies for hours, children keep these sweets in their mouth for a considerable amount of time. When sugar in candies come in contact with the teeth, it leads to formation of acid, that is known to damage enamel. Excessive drinking of soft drinks like coke or fizzy drink can also produce the same undesired effect. Even habits like chewing tobacco can destroy a properly developed enamel.
The process involving formation of tooth enamel is referred to as amelogenesis. However, certain genetic defects can have a negative impact on amelogenesis. As a result, it can stop normal growth of tooth enamel, eventually leading to poor development of enamel. Infections at the time of pregnancy or poor diet during pregnancy can give rise to birth defects causing faulty formation of enamel.
When only a small amount of enamel has been eroded, areas of the teeth that show pitting or discoloration are covered with a material whose color resembles to that of normal white tooth. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily can also help to restore the lost enamel. However, in case substantial enamel loss has occurred, the affected tooth may be fitted with stainless steel dental crowns. In some cases, the affected tooth is completely removed and an artificial tooth (dental implant) is then installed in that position.
As sugar can damage enamel, staying away from soft drinks, citrus foods (lemon and oranges) and high sugar foods like candies, chocolates, pastries, and cakes is necessary and considered to be an integral part of dental care and helps to prevent recurrence of enamel hypoplasia. Take care!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.