The outer layer of our teeth is called the enamel. It’s the hardest and most highly mineralized part of the body. It keeps our teeth protected from cavities and the intense forces of our bite. When enamel does not develop correctly, it can result in a thinner layer of enamel or a lack of enamel development altogether that can impact both baby teeth and permanent teeth. This is a condition called enamel hypoplasia.
If left untreated, kids with dental enamel hypoplasia will be more vulnerable to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. This is because the acids in foods and drinks can more easily harm teeth with thinner enamel and lead to the retention of damaging bacteria.
If your child is living with enamel hypoplasia, it is important to understand options for dental treatment that will help keep your kid’s teeth healthy.
What Causes Enamel Hypoplasia in Children?
There are several different factors that can lead to the development of dental enamel hypoplasia in kids including genetic conditions, prenatal issues, and environmental factors. These factors alter the development of the special cells that produce dental enamel.The most common genetic condition that causes enamel hypoplasia is called amelogenesis imperfecta or congenital enamel hypoplasia. It impacts every 1 in 14,000 people in the United States, according to the National Library of Medicine.Prenatal problems during fetal development can also lead to dental enamel hypoplasia. Some of these problems include maternal vitamin D deficiency, maternal smoking, drug use, and a general lack of prenatal care.
Finally, there are certain environmental factors that may lead to enamel hypoplasia in kids including:
- Tooth trauma
- Calcium deficiency
- Viral & bacterial infections
- Liver disease
- Deficiencies of vitamin A, C, or D
Treating Dental Enamel Hypoplasia in Kids
Treating enamel hypoplasia in kids with special dental care can help limit the negative consequences associated with the developmental abnormality. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your child sees a dentist by the time their first tooth develops.
If a dentist is able to diagnose your child’s enamel hypoplasia through early screenings, it will help them develop a healthy at-home dental care routine that can protect their teeth. Diligent brushing and flossing and limiting the intake of cavity-causing foods will be especially important for kids with enamel hypoplasia.
At the dentist, there are a variety of treatment options that can help protect your child’s teeth from enamel hypoplasia. Your dentist may recommend fluoride varnish treatments to limit tooth decay and sensitivity. In severe cases, dentists can treat enamel hypoplasia in kids through teeth restoration with white fillings or dental crowns.
Restorative Dental Care for Kids in Las Vegas
If you think your child is experiencing tooth enamel hypoplasia or any kind of enamel defect, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with the pediatric dentists at Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas.
Children’s Dentistry offers kids preventative dental care including fluoride treatments, dental cleanings, and dental sealants at 10 different locations throughout the Las Vegas area. If you live in the greater Las Vegas area, you have pediatric dentists for treating enamel hypoplasia within reach. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702)-832-0508.