Amelogenesis Imperfecta is a dental condition in which the enamel of the teeth does not develop properly. It may be thin and weak and may not exist at all for some who have this condition. This is a hereditary condition that can continue through many generations. The severity of the condition depends on which type of amelogenesis imperfecta the patient has. These are the four types of this disorder that are known about and the symptoms that are associated with each.
Hypoplastic Amelogenesis Imperfecta
This condition involves having teeth that are uneven in size. Some of the teeth are noticeably smaller than normal and may also be discolored. The color may range from an opaque white to a dark yellow brown. The enamel of the teeth is thin and smooth as opposed to thick enamel that is evident in healthy teeth.
There may also be pits and grooves on the surface of the teeth. Those who are born with hypoplastic amelogenesis imperfecta often experience cavities more frequently and the teeth may feel very loose and less attached to the gums than normal.
Hypomaturation is another form of amelogenesis imperfecta. With this condition, the teeth may be creamy white, yellow or brown in color. The enamel is normally hard like it is in normal healthy teeth, but they may feel soft and tough on the surface.
Hypomaturation teeth are very sensitive to hot and cold and may also be very weak. The teeth may wear away easily over time. During radio-graphic exams, hypomaturation teeth may also have undeveloped or underdeveloped crowns.
In this form of amelogenesis imperfecta, the teeth are also discolored. They may range from an almost see-through white to a yellow brown. The teeth have a soft, rough surface and are formed in an open bite position. This means that the front upper and lower teeth do not touch even if the person attempts to bite down.
Often the crowns of hypocalcified teeth have not erupted and the teeth are very sensitive. They also have heavy calculus formation on the surface that can be difficult to remove and make them weaker when scraped off.
Teeth that develop with taurodontism are small and very mottled. They do not make contact when the person bites down, and the teeth are white or yellow brown in color. This condition causes one to have thin enamel with large pulp chambers. The enamel may also have pits throughout the teeth that cause the teeth to wear away.
Treating those who have hypoplastic amelogenesis imperfecta can be very challenging. The type of treatment that works depends on the severity of the condition. For some who have a milder condition, it may be possible to correct the problem with crowns or veneers. However, more deteriorating conditions often require extraction of the teeth so they can be replaced with dentures or dental implants. To learn more, speak with someone like Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates.