5 Things Parents Need To Know About Dentinogenesis Imperfecta

Dentist Articles

Teeth are made up of many layers, and any of these layers can be affected by genetic disorders. The outer layer, the enamel, is responsible for protecting the layers underneath. The next layer, the dentin, is sensitive, but it's also strong, so it supports the enamel. Beneath the dentin is the root which contains the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth healthy. When the dentin is affected, dentists call the resulting condition dentinogenesis imperfecta. Here's what you need to know about this serious dental disorder.

What is dentinogenesis imperfecta?

Dentinogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder that causes the dentin to not form properly.The dentin is poorly mineralized, meaning that it doesn't have as much calcium and other minerals as normal dentin does. Children with this disorder have weak dentin that isn't able to support their enamel. This disorder can affect the baby teeth, the adult teeth, or both.

What are the signs of this disorder?

Dentinogenesis imperfecta causes a wide variety of symptoms. Here are some of the signs that you should watch out for:

  • Discolored teeth (blue-grey or yellow-brown)
  • Broken enamel
  • Excessively worn teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Frequent dental abscesses

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child's mouth, you need to take him or her to the dentist right away.The dentist will examine your child's teeth and take x-rays to diagnose this disorder.

How serious is dentinogenesis imperfecta?

This disorder is quite serious, as it has a major effect on your child's teeth. Without strong dentin underneath, the enamel isn't supported, and breaks easily. This means that your child will have to deal with broken or cracked teeth, and the pain and sensitivity that comes with that. The teeth can eventually break down so much that they can't be saved and need to be removed.

Some children with this disorder have other problems with their teeth, such as missing tooth roots or teeth that are too small.This disorder is also associated with other serious genetic disorders such as Ehlers Danlos syndrome, Goldblatt syndrome, and Brachio-skeleto-genital syndrome. For this reason, if your dentist diagnoses your child with Dentinogenesis imperfecta, a visit to your family doctor should be your next step. 

Is this a common disorder?

Dentinogenesis imperfecta is a very rare genetic disorder. Studies have shown that it affects between 1 in 6,000 and 1 in 8,000 people. That works out to between 40,000 and 53,000 people in the United States.

Your family dentist may have never seen a case of dentinogenesis imperfecta before, so you may need to be referred to a specialist.

Can dentists treat this disorder?

This disorder can't be cured, but dentists can treat the symptoms that it caused. Dentists will try to restore both the appearance and functionality of your child's teeth. There are many treatment options available, depending on how serious your child's disorder is.

If the disorder is diagnosed early, before the enamel can become too damaged, crowns are an option. Crowns can be placed on top of your child's teeth to keep their enamel from wearing away, and to strengthen their weak enamel. Veneers can also be used to both restore the appearance of the teeth and protect the delicate enamel underneath. The veneers will be placed on top of your child's existing enamel, which will keep their own enamel from wearing away. If the teeth are already too worn to be repaired with crowns, the teeth will need to be extracted and replaced with dentures or dental implants. 

Dentinogenesis imperfecta is a serious genetic disorder, but it can be treated. If you think your child has this disorder, take your child to the dentist right away.

Visit http://www.dentistryoffayetteville.com for more information about important dental issues. 


2 April 2015

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