We hear much in the news about the worsening state of our children’s dental health, particularly in the context of fizzy drinks and sweet snacks – but cavities are not the only issue about which parents should be vigilant. Hypoplasia is another common childhood dental problem.
At our central London specialist dental practice, paediatric dentist Dr Joanna Johnson treats many cases of hypoplasia.
What do you know about hypoplasia?
Hypoplasia is a developmental dental defect of the enamel, the protective layer on the crown of the tooth, usually affecting the baby teeth.
Enamel is the hardest substance of the body, but in these cases it is very thin and the teeth are left vulnerable in several ways: the risk of dental decay is greater; the exposure of the underlying dentine layer causes the teeth to be more sensitive; and the teeth are generally fragile.
Furthermore, the visible signs of hypoplasia are creamy yellow, brown or white patches or chalky spots on the teeth – and this can make a child feel very self-conscious and too embarrassed to smile.
There are a range of risk factors that have been linked to enamel defects, including prematurity, the maternal health during pregnancy, early childhood diseases and poor nutrition.
What can be done?
Hypoplasia is very treatable with the priorities being a reduction in tooth sensitivity, an aesthetic improvement and the strengthening of the teeth.
Your options will depend on your child’s symptoms and the severity of their case, all of which paediatric dentist Dr Joanna Johnson will discuss in full at your initial consultation at our central London specialist dental practice.
Joanna’s approach is a calm, engaging and reassuring one, and she has vast experience of treating nervous children, so even the most worried child can receive the best treatment with very little stress caused.