Weak Enamel is a Dental Concern for Children

weak enamel pediatric dentist charlottePediatric dentists in Charlotte are on the lookout for signs of weak enamel in young children. The condition, also called mottled enamel, can be caused by a number of factors:

  • A developmental condition,
  • Unsupervised eating of fluoride toothpaste or rinse,
  • Excessive fluoridation in the water,
  • A mother’s diet during pregnancy,
  • History of high fevers/febrile seizures

As the result of any of the previously mentioned conditions, the baby teeth and permanent teeth can emerge with weak, missing, or improperly formed enamel. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), there are special cells called ameloblasts which are responsible for the formation of the tooth enamel. When these ameloblasts become damaged or fail to fully develop, then the enamel can’t develop normally and the teeth are weakened.

In addition to mottled enamel, children can also be affected by enamel hypoplasia, a disorder in which the teeth develop with enamel that is thin and deficient. This sometimes appears as a pit or even a hole in the tooth. In more advanced cases, the enamel is completely absent, exposing the sensitive inner surfaces of the tooth.

Another defect, known as enamel hypomineralization, describes the formation of soft and easily damaged enamel. Hypomineralization occurs in response to the excessive exposure to fluoride– known as fluorosis. Excessive fluoride can cause severe discoloration or improper enamel growth as the teeth are developing. This can affect the teeth from birth up to about six years of age.

Treatment Solutions for Weak Teeth

Without enamel, the teeth are highly susceptible to tooth decay and trauma. Unfortunately, the enamel cannot be replaced, but the teeth can be repaired or strengthened for extra protection. Pediatric dentists may suggest one of the following approaches to treat weak teeth:

  • Sealants
  • Bonding
  • Crowns

To learn more about identifying and treating weak enamel in children, contact a pediatric dentist in Charlotte and reserve your child’s appointment today.