Enamel problems in permanent teeth - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got back from the dentist appointment with my kids. Only one has a permanent tooth, a six year molar. Dentist said that the enamel didn't lay down properly, and it will probably have to be watched and possibly treated. He said that sealants would probably not work, as it seems to be affecting the whole tooth. 

 

Has anyone else delt with this? I don't know what might have caused it (googling suggests both genetic causes yet also possibly fever, trauma, or toxic exposure), or if it will affect only one tooth, many teeth, and possibly all of my kids.

 

On the bright side, no cavities.  At least there's that.


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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I have a friend who has a similar problem. The enamel on the teeth is visiblity defective. Three different dentists have recommended they seal the teeth tri-annually. All three have linked the defective enamel to antibiotics she took during pregnancy. She had a UTI and traced it to the week of fetal development. All three said that was a critical week of teeth development. She feels horrible. They don't know if his permament teeth will be effected.

 

The fourth dentist was the only one who didn't pressure her to wean (he was six months old!) and that is why she went to so many.

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Old 03-02-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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I don't have a lot of BTDT advice - but you can find a lot of good info perusing the dental forum archives.

 

One of my dd's does have some teeth with weakened enamel, but also with cavities and we got crowns for them.  My other dd has yet to show any teeth issues but is only 1 y/o, so only 4 teeth so far anyway.  I don't think it automatically means you'll face this with all kids/all teeth.    

 

At the time I did read up on remineralizing and that might be worth looking into for your son as a help - whether working at it nutritionally or getting MI paste or a remineralizing toothpaste to try (I did get a toothpaste for us from dentist.net but they have both kinds of products).  

I know there are some other options people have had success with for very bad dental problems too.  I'll check back if I can find anything later that I bookmarked at the time as helpful, but again - found a lot of good info here in the dental forum.

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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I had this problem with my molars, primarily, though other teeth were affected. Dentists I've talked to (and that my mom talked to when I was a kid) tended to link it back to a really high, sustained fever I had as a toddler, which likely affected the development of those particular teeth. (Edit - antibiotics prescribed for that illness may also have come into play. It's really difficult to pin it down, and in some respects not that useful an exercise--the damage is/was done).

Here's my experience. Bear in mind that I'm in my 40s and that dental technology and methods have progressed quite a lot.

When I was a kid, the bad/weak enamel on my molars caused a lot of sensitivity to acid foods (citrus), chocolate, and to the slightest touch of a fork. The surface of some teeth is apparently also sort of uneven. Two of the teeth were given big fillings; two others were crowned. Years after the crowns should have worn out or whatever (they were stainless steel, and according to my current dentist, were never intended to last 30 odd years), I had them recrowned with gold.

I have some discoloration on my front teeth, likely caused by the same thing. If I were to finally (after all this time) have that dealt with, the main issue would be to be as non-invasive as possible and that any whitening agent would be formulated by my dentist with my teeth in mind.

For years (until I was about 32), I never had a cavity, then I had several at once (which irritated me), then none again (I'm closing in on 47). One thing to know about cavities though is that it's important to treat them, because the weakened enamel can cause them to get bad/worse more quickly.

I use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth now, but didn't as a kid.

Based on my own experience, don't beat yourself up over this, and don't worry too much about it. Regular dental checkups and monitoring will hep you stay on top of it. If I had to wish my parents had done something differently it would be to have had them teach me about flossing and really nag me to develop the habit. Because I don't think it ever came up.


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Old 03-02-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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My dd actually has this on her six year molars but luckily not on her two front teeth.  Her dentist and the pediatric dentist said that it is usually caused by taking a lot of antibiotics in the first year of life when those teeth are developing.  The pediatric dentist sees a case every couple months with it and it is usually the kids who had chronic ear infections as babies.  It affects every one in one thousand kids and those teeth tend to have a lot of problems.  We were doing a daily flouride cream to try to strengthen the teeth but it didn't work and my dd has to go in for a lot of work on those teeth this year.  Luckily they have grown out all the way now and they can put temporary caps on them while they are doing that work to hold her until she is a teenager and actual caps are worth the investment.  I really suggest getting a pediatric dentist who has seen this a lot and seeing what your options are.  If there are no cavities on the teeth now then strengthening them may be something to strongly consider even if you aren't a fan of flouride. 

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Old 03-03-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

My dd actually has this on her six year molars but luckily not on her two front teeth.  Her dentist and the pediatric dentist said that it is usually caused by taking a lot of antibiotics in the first year of life when those teeth are developing.  The pediatric dentist sees a case every couple months with it and it is usually the kids who had chronic ear infections as babies.  It affects every one in one thousand kids and those teeth tend to have a lot of problems.  We were doing a daily flouride cream to try to strengthen the teeth but it didn't work and my dd has to go in for a lot of work on those teeth this year.  Luckily they have grown out all the way now and they can put temporary caps on them while they are doing that work to hold her until she is a teenager and actual caps are worth the investment.  I really suggest getting a pediatric dentist who has seen this a lot and seeing what your options are.  If there are no cavities on the teeth now then strengthening them may be something to strongly consider even if you aren't a fan of flouride. 


My current dentist had me do a fluoride treatment (for awhile) at the time I started with him (the year of the cavities).

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As an update: 3 of his four 6 year molars are affected, 2 severly. Those two (the bottoms) I just noticed are showing signs of unusual wear. We've had no cavities in them so far, but we're 3 months from our next appointment, so it looks like we'll be seeing the dentist sooner than that.

 

 

Another update:

 

We've seen the pediatric dentist we were referred to. The plan is to put crowns on his 2 most severly affected teeth. There is no decay yet, but they are starting to chip.


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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