Amelogenesis imperfecta is the name given to some inherited dental disorders. These disorders affect the tooth enamel and are very rare. Considering how scary amelogenesis imperfecta sounds when a dentist says it to you, it is normal to want to know more about these dental disorders.
Who Can Suffer From Amelogenesis Imperfecta?
According to studies, between 1 in 700 and 1 in 15,000 people will suffer from one of the disorders. They affect both adults and children and are usually inherited (genetic).
The abnormalities can cause grooved, stained, and unusually small teeth. Multiple gene defects have been linked to some disorders, but there is no known cause to all of them.
What Are the Four Main Types of Defects?
Studies have divided the defects up into four types, with 14 different subtypes. The four main types come from mutations in four certain genes, which are involved in the making of proteins needed for tooth development. Through the mutations, the protein can either develop abnormally or not develop at all.
Some of the deformities can be recessive, so they will skip a generation or two. This is common when parents are related and have children. The abnormalities only need to be passed through one parent for children to suffer.
How Is the Enamel Affected By Defects?
Enamel is a hard calcium-based element over the pulp of the teeth, protecting the teeth from decay. When it grows abnormally, it can be discolored, soft and thin.
While discoloration is more of an aesthetic problem, soft and thin enamel will be much weaker. It is easier for bacteria and acids to wear through the enamel, making individuals more likely to suffer from cavities and pulp damage.
What Can You Do?
Dentists will be able to diagnose the problem when looking at the teeth. Most treatment will only be on the permanent teeth, and includes the use of crowns to protect the normal teeth from damage. This has been highly successful in patients and makes the teeth look normal to prevent patients from worrying about their smiles.
It is important to seek medical help if you find that you may have this genetic abnormality. If left untreated, amelogenesis imperfecta can cause problems with the teeth. It can lead to a lot of oral pain and discomfort. While the treatments are simple, it is important to understand they only help with the side effects. Currently, there is no way to alter your DNA – which would be the only way to get rid of this abnormality.
For more information, contact HP Family Dental or a similar location.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!