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What Causes My Incomplete Formation of Enamel?

Posted Sep 12 2008 4:18am
Ask Dr.A
dradental.com



The answers given by Dr.A are intended as non-professional advice, for entertainment only if you will. Please do consult with your dentist of record or your physician before making any decision regarding your dental or medical health.



Q. For some reason I've never had a complete coating of enamel on the backs of my teeth. Is this common? What, beyond genetics, causes this incomplete formation of enamel?

Dr.A Incomplete formation of enamel (the outermost, hardest layer of your tooth) can have many causes. The most common causes are usually trauma, or serious infections and disease conditions during the development of the teeth in children. This can cause either the development of softer enamel, or hard enamel that is low in quantity. Any incomplete formation of enamel can be termed Enamel Dysplasia.

Amelgenesis Imperfecta is a genetic condition caused by the malfunctioning of one or more of the protiens found in enamel such as ameloblastin or enamlin. Patients with this condition tend to have smaller, malformed, pitted teeth, with shades of yellow or green. The teeth tend to be sensitive, and commonly exhibit cavities.

What is interesting about your condition is that the lack of enamel is focused on the backs of your teeth. This is a key feature of conditions where patients tend to vomit on a regular basis; bullemia is one example. As the acidic contents of the stomach pass through the oral cavity the backs of the teeth tend to be directly involved. The high acidity breaks down the enamel layer over time. This leaves the teeth with exposed dentin on the back and edges, and hence, more sensitive to pain and staining.

I say "interesting" because you say that you have always lacked complete enamel on the backs of your teeth. I am not aware of a genetic condition where enamel formation is hindered to only that area, on multiple teeth! It is possible to have a single point of enamel hypomaturation on a single tooth, usually characterized by a white chalky spot and caused by trauma to that tooth during development. But to say that the same surfaces on all your teeth exhibit this condition since you were a child is unheard of, by myself at least, unless you have been vomiting on a regular basis since you were a child!

You should definitely discuss this observation with your dentist of record. She or he might recommend flouride treatment, and should try to investigate the cause of your enamel malformation.




The answers given by Dr.A are intended as non-professional advice, for entertainment only if you will. Please do consult with your dentist of record or your physician before making any decision regarding your dental or medical health.




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