It is not uncommon for Developmental Dental Defects (D3) to show up within children, and these conditions require specialised care. Enamel hypomineralisation or ‘Chalky Teeth’ is one of the most common issues seen by dentists around the world, and it affects around 1 in 6 children. Enamel hypomineralisation means there is a lack of minerals within the tooth enamel, causing the enamel to appear rough, soft and porous. This is a contributing factor for sensitivity and decay, but if detected early and monitored the risks can be greatly minimised and extractions can be avoided.
In this blog post, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about chalky teeth.
What causes chalky teeth?
Hypomineralisation is a genetic predisposition, and it is usually picked up during paediatric dental appointments. It can also occur due to poor nutrition or an excess supply of fluoride during the development of dental structures in early childhood.
There are also a few external factors which can cause this condition, including smoking during pregnancy, a vitamin D deficiency and preterm birth.
Keep in mind that some people may experience a chalky sensation on their teeth after consuming foods high in oxalic acid. This is not a cause for concern, as it is only temporary and the sensation can be stopped by using mouthwash or chewing sugar-free gum to clean the mouth.
Typical Symptoms/Signs of Enamel Hypomineralisation
Individuals who have teeth low in calcium mineral may exhibit the following signs:
- Distinct White Patches
- Tooth Sensitivity drinking/eating hot and cold drinks/foods or during brushing
- Grainy, chalky feeling teeth
- Teeth which break easily
- Tooth Pain
The first signs are usually seen on the first adult molars which erupt at around 6 years of age, but it may also be seen on baby molars.
Treating Chalky Teeth at Sydney Park Dental
Chalky teeth can be very disruptive to a child’s daily routine, as it will prevent them from enjoying their favourite food and drink due to pain and discomfort. It can also disrupt their dental hygiene routine, as the lack of enamel will diminish thermal protection and the nerve endings within the tooth will be much more sensitive. Eventually this can lead to decay, so it is important that you consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Treatment is based on preventing decay and controlling sensitivity, and a paediatric dentist will need to examine your child to determine the extent and severity of their condition. We may recommend the following:
- Fissure Sealants – this will help to protect weak enamel against decay
- Paediatric stainless steel crown – may be required in severe cases, later followed by a permanent gold/porcelain crown. This will reduce pain and make teeth healthier and stronger.
- Fluoride Treatments
- Extraction – only as a last resort
For treating sensitivity, we may recommend the following:
- Tooth Mousse – enriched with calcium and phosphate, this will help to restore strength and add a layer of protection to the teeth. It will also provide some relief from sensitivity.
- In severe cases we may recommend a stainless steel crown which will enable your child to brush teeth and eat/drink normally without pain
Suffer from Chalky Teeth? Book an Appointment Today
Living with hypomineralised teeth can be unpleasant to say the least, but rest assured that the team at Sydney Park Dental have a wealth of experience in dealing with this condition. Whether yourself or your children are experiencing a chalky feeling, pain, sensitivity or frequent breakages we will help you manage your condition in the best way possible.
Schedule an appointment with us today on (02) 8084 7170 and start treating your enamel hypomineralisation. We look forward to welcoming you to our dental surgery soon.