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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Enamel deficiency

07/17/2007

Question:

I am 20 years old, and ever since my permanent teeth came through, I have had a severe enamel deficiency. My mother told me it was from an antibiotic she gave me as a child while my permanent teeth were developing. Is there anywhere to find information about this, and have others had a simliar problem?

What type of antibiotic would cause this? I have had severe tooth sensitivity since I was a child, so I am finally having crowns put on a 6 of the teeth.

Answer:

Thanks for the question. The term "enamel defect" covers an incredibly wide range of presentations. Maternal infections during pregnancy, malnutrition, infections after birth and medications are among the causes of defects in the formation of teeth. There are also systemic illnesses/syndromes such as Amelogenesis imperfecta and dentinogenesis imperfecta that can lead to deficiencies the quality and/or quantity of enamel and dentin (these are genetic in origin - and maybe present in other family members). Enamel defects can also be caused by imbalance of fluoride during early childhood as well.

A clinical exam by a dentist would be the best starting point in determining the etiology. It sounds like you have done this and that is fantastic. Determining the etiology of the enamel defect can directly affect the type of restorative/filling materials used. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several resources on enamel hypomineralization (enter it as a search term).I hope this is of help.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University