These two conditions are being discussed more and more frequently. They sound complicated, but they’re actually just words to describe genetic predispositions to reduced or missing dental structure or weakened tooth enamel. At Dr. Aaronson & Associates, we offer patients answers to their questions about these conditions, and our skilled Manhattan dentists and team provide early intervention, repair, and prevention services as necessary at dental checkups to improve oral health for patients who suffer from either or both of these detrimental oral health conditions.
WHAT IS HYPOPLASIA?
Hypoplasia is a condition that affects developing primary and/or adult teeth. It leads to a defect in the shape or size of the tooth or a complete lack of development for one or more teeth. It is noticed most frequently among young children as their baby teeth develop, but some of these kids go on to develop the same concern with their permanent teeth. Additionally, there are rare cases where adult teeth display hypoplasia even though the primary teeth were seemingly not affected by this condition.
WHAT IS HYPOMINERALIZATION?
Hypomineralization is a genetic predisposition for a decreased mineral content in the teeth. This can present itself as naturally thinner enamel layers in newly developed teeth, or it can occur as quick disintegration of the tooth enamel after teeth erupt from the gum line. Regardless, this condition leads to frequent tooth decay and damage like chips and cracks. Severe cases of hypomineralization result in teeth that appear almost translucent.
WHY DO PATIENTS SUFFER FROM THESE CONDITIONS?
Most patients who suffer from the advanced enamel hypoplasia or less severe hypomeneralization are affected by these conditions due to a genetic predisposition. Other patients are affected by a lack of nutrition or too much of specific minerals like fluoride at certain points in the development of dental structures. Some other external factors that can cause enamel hypoplasia or hypomineralization include:
- Maternal smoking during pregnancy
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Preterm birth
HOW ARE HYPOPLASIA & HYPOMINERALIZATION TREATED?
Because kids and adults alike who have enamel hypoplasia and hypomineralization often experience concerns like severe tooth sensitivity, cosmetic concerns, and frequent decay or damage, it’s important that kids receive an early dental evaluation and continue to visit the dentist at six month intervals following the eruption of their first teeth. With regular care and maintenance, we can provide a number of preventive and restorative services to improve the oral health of these patients including the following:
- Desensitization with fluoride treatments and desensitizing and remineralizing pastes for at home use
- Dental sealants can be placed to protect teeth with thinner enamel layers from decay
- In severe cases, we can use composite resin filling materials to build up the thinnest parts of the teeth
Most importantly, patients should take special care to maintain thorough in-office and at-home oral hygiene routines to prevent damage. If you’d like to find out more about this common oral health condition, contact Aaronson & Associates today.