Tooth enamel is a combination of minerals similar to calcium phosphate and hydroxyapatite. A slight variation of these minerals’ concentration on a few areas of the tooth causes chalky spots on the dental crown. This situation is called enamel hypo calcification. It may occur in baby teeth or permanent teeth. During this insufficiency, your enamel becomes thin and weak. Hypocalcification gives an opaque or chalky appearance to your teeth. We can notice white, yellow, or brown discoloration on the teeth.
The enamel weakness makes the teeth more prone to cavities and erosion. We may also experience sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods. The main reason behind hypo calcification of the tooth enamel is variation in calcium level. This variation occurs due to extreme acidic conditions in the mouth cavity.
What Are The Causes Of Enamel Hypocalcification?
Following are some of the causes of enamel Hypocalcification.
- Acid Reaction: Acidic foods and the acids formed by mouth bacteria wear out the calcium content in tooth enamel. It may affect the structure of the enamel, and thus, the specific affected area of the tooth becomes weak and porous. If you leave it unnoticed or untreated, the calcium breaks down and causes permanent enamel damage and tooth cavity.
- Genetic conditions: This occurs due to an inherited dental condition that causes poor enamel formation in the primary and adult teeth. During tooth development, cells called Ameloblasts are responsible for the secretion of enamel proteins. This protein mineralizes to form tooth enamel later. If these ameloblasts are not sufficient, it impedes the normal enamel formation. Thus, enamel forms a thin protective layer over the dentin instead of a hard. It may ultimately lead to hypo calcification.
What Are The Symptoms Of Enamel Hypocalcification?
Following are some of the symptoms of hypo calcification.
- We may notice that our enamel turns thin.
- The chalky or opaque appearance of teeth
- White, yellow, or brown stains on the teeth
- Your teeth become weak, causing them to become vulnerable to cavities, chipping, and even breaking.
- Sudden white spots on our teeth
You can treat Enamel Hypocalcification when we find them in the early stage. Delaying the treatments may cause some more consequences. Consult your doctor without delay if you find any of the above-mentioned symptoms initially. It may help you prevent serious issues.
Can We Treat Enamel Hypocalcification?
Yes, Of course! It is necessary to consult your dentist as soon as possible once you notice a chalky or creamy spot on your teeth. Immediate attention is essential for Hypocalcification to prevent tooth decay. Delaying the treatment may cause many side effects. Treatment methods change with the severity of the problem.
The ultimate goal of these various treatment methods is to:
- prevent the tooth decay
- maintain a good bite
- preserve the tooth structure
- maintain a pleasant appearance while smiling
If the acid attack is the cause of your calcium loss, the treatment methods depend on the severity of the case.
For mild cases of hypo calcification, a proper oral care routine is enough. It includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, cleaning between teeth with floss or an interdental device, and consulting the dentist regularly. Also, you need to adjust your diet to avoid sugary and acidic foods. Use the pastes, creams, and fluoride treatments recommended by the dental professional to encourage remineralization.
If it is severe, you require restoration work. Your dentist may suggest a full-crown restoration or specialized denture that protects the inner tooth, prevents decay, and relieves tooth sensitivity. In the case of a cavity, sensitivity, and tooth structure wear, treatments include:
- Use a resin-bonded sealant to improve tooth sensitivity.
- Use a resin-based composite filling to match the tooth color. This filing is ideal to use on the front or back of teeth. They are durable too.
- Some use dental amalgam fillings – a combination of durable metals. Most of them do not like this due to its silver color. Before starting this, you have to check whether this filling is suitable for you or not, as there may be a risk of toxicity.
- Like dental amalgam fillings, some use gold fillings. They are durable, but they lack a natural look and are the most expensive.
- Use crowns to cover the tooth entirely.
- Enamel microabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that can improve the appearance of the teeth.
- Do dental whitening from a professional.
Avoid mercury amalgam filling if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Avoid this under six years category or if you have a neurological condition, kidney problems, or an allergy to mercury.
If the stains of hypo calcification have affected only the cosmetic appearance of your teeth, the dentist may suggest tooth bleaching to improve the look. If the discoloration is severe, the dentist advises a dental filling in the affected areas. Some defects that are not causing decay or sensitivity may not need treatment, but they require monitoring. The dentist applies topical fluoride to help protect teeth.
What Is The Difference Between Enamel Hypocalcification And Hypercalcification?
Hypocalcification is the defect in enamel that occurs by the deficiency in the amount of the minerals and calcium needed for the healthy enamel. But hyper calcification occurs when a high calcium level is present in the enamel. You experience hyper calcification when your tooth has too much calcium in your enamel, and sometimes, you experience it by an infection during tooth formation.
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Enamel Naturally
Following are some tips for naturally maintaining healthy tooth enamel.
- Reduce acidic, sugary foods and beverages intake. You can prevent tooth decay and enamel weakening by avoiding these foods as much as possible. Minimize the use of sugary soda intake. Reduce citrus fruits and coffee too. You can cut down these habits partially rather than total elimination.
- Rinse the mouth after having acidic and sugary foods to protect the tooth enamel. It will eliminate the acid and sugar content from the mouth.
- Eating high-vitamins and mineral food can reduce the chances of hypo calcification. Eat plenty of leafy foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These foods will promote the remineralization process by allowing saliva to produce necessary minerals.
- Our saliva is the essential weapon against weakness. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and encourage saliva production. Try to avoid dehydrating substances like caffeine. A dry mouth affects the remineralization process negatively.
Enamel plays an essential role in maintaining healthy teeth. It protects all the inner layers of teeth from being damaged by food and other external factors and keeps your teeth looking white. Since the tooth enamel contains no living cells, we cannot regrow it in case of any damage.
When the concentration of needed minerals like calcium on the tooth falls below a sufficient amount, chalky white spots will appear on the dental crown. It is enamel hypo calcification. High-level acidic conditions in the oral cavity and genetic disorders are the most common reasons behind this hypo calcification of the tooth enamel. We can reduce the chances of hypo calcification by changing some food habits and lifestyle habits. Visit your dentist without fail if you are facing some severe pain or symptoms.