Enamel Hypoplasia is a condition that results in having less enamel than normal. It can affect both baby and permanent teeth. Most of the time it happens before the age of three, when the enamel is still developing and more vulnerable to genetic or environmental factors.
Enamel Hypoplasia can look like a small dent or affect the size and shape of the entire tooth. The defect can also occur on multiple teeth. The appearance varies from white, yellow or brownish color, with a rough surface. Patients sometimes experience sensitivity and are more susceptible to cavities.
Factors such as infection or fever during pregnancy, premature birth, vitamin A, C or D deficiency, hereditary disorders and some medications taken during tooth formation can affect both baby and permanent teeth. Environmental factors include trauma to the teeth, fluorosis, and exposure to toxic chemicals at a young age.
Treatment options vary from sealing or bonding for less severe cases, to stainless steel crowns that protect more severe cases from sensitivity or wear. In some instances, extractions are necessary and can be replaced by a bridge or an implant.
Fortunately, mild cases of enamel hypoplasia can be controlled by practicing good oral hygiene habits, avoiding sugary foods and getting fluoride treatments. The treatment for Enamel Hypoplasia should be determined on an individual basis between the dentist and the family.