Hypomineralisation, sometimes called chalky teeth, is a condition where areas of the tooth enamel contain less mineral and become softer and resemble chalk. Let’s take a closer look at what causes chalky teeth and how to treat them, both in children and adults.
Common in Children
Chalky teeth are common among children. The American Dental Association estimates that 1 in 6 children in America will develop Hypomineralisation with cases ranging from mild to severe. The cause is not yet determined, although genetics is most likely a factor.
Chalky Teeth Does Not Lead to Decay
It was thought for many decades that Hypomineralisation was linked to tooth decay, but over the last couple of years, that theory has been challenged. Chalky teeth do tend to break down due to weakness, but they are not decaying because of plaque or bacteria.
Treating Chalky Teeth
In simple terms, Hypomineralisation is very hard to treat. Teeth with Hypomineralisation can’t be filled because they are too weak to withstand the procedure and the materials used as fillers are meant to adhere to healthy enamel. Crowns are sometimes used to add some strength, but this is not always possible. The earlier the condition is caught, the better chances are of finding an effective treatment.
Hypomineralisation can often cause pain and sensitivity. Dentists may recommend a special toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. It is best that chalky teeth are treated by a dentist as soon as possible, so make an appointment right away if suspect you or your child may have this condition.
If you suspect you or child may have Hypomineralisation, contact Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts right away. They will be able to correctly diagnose and prepare a treatment plan based on your individual needs.