Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel Hypoplasia Symptoms:

Symptoms of Enamel Hypoplasia are very common. They include:

Difficulty chewing or eating solid foods (especially meat) due to the difficulty in chewing through the thickened enamel. This problem may not affect all dogs with enamel hypoplasias, but it is most likely to occur in those breeds which have a high tendency towards dental caries such as bulldogs, pugs, and some mastiffs.

Dental problems such as tooth decay, abscesses, infections, and even cancer. These dental problems can cause pain when eating and chewing food. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias are at risk of developing these diseases because they cannot chew properly. If your dog suffers from any type of dental disease then he/she will suffer from other health issues too.

Painful teeth grinding while chewing food or trying to swallow. This problem is usually worse during exercise. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias tend to develop painful teeth grinding while exercising.

Painful breath sounds. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias often experience painful breath sounds when they breathe in and out.

Inability to sleep well at night due to the inability to fall asleep without causing discomfort in their mouth. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias are prone to having nightmares or experiencing anxiety attacks due to the pain of sleeping.

Inappropriate chewing of objects or toys. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias may have a tendency to excessively chew on things like shoes, blankets, pillows, and other objects. This is a common behavior for teething puppies or dogs with some dental disease that causes pain. The chewing is an attempt to soothe the pain or distract themselves from the pain of a mouth infection.

Pale gums. The pale or white color of the gums is a sign that the blood circulation in the gums is poor. So you may notice pale or white gums in dogs with enamel hypoplasias.

Misaligned, cracked, broken, or chipped teeth. With an increased risk of tooth decay and disease, it’s no surprise that these dogs often have broken teeth or other signs of tooth wear and tear.

Enamel hypoplasia are known to cause excessive drooling. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias often have excessive drooling because of painful mouth issues such as abscesses or rotting teeth.

Dogs experience weight loss. The pain of dental disease can cause a dog with enamel hypoplasias to stop eating or even lose weight.

Enamel hypoplasia is not always noticeable. In some cases, the teeth may appear to be entirely normal. Dogs with enamel hypoplasias sometimes do not show any symptoms at all. The only way to detect it is by a dental examination by your veterinarian or a veterinary technician.

Enamel hypoplasia is also known as “Mismanaged adult tooth eruption”.

What is enamel hypoplasia?

Also known as “Mismanaged adult tooth eruption”, enamel hypoplasia is a condition where there is a defect in the development of enamel during tooth formation.

The canine teeth are the first teeth to erupt. Between the age of 3 and 6 months, the incisors erupt followed by the canines at around 6 to 7 months. Shortly after the canine teeth erupt, the molars start pushing through the gums.

During tooth formation, a substance called “Enamel” is secreted by the cells. This substance is essential for normal tooth function. If the amount of enamel is reduced during tooth formation, then a defect in tooth development called “Hypoplasia” can occur.

In the case of enamel hypoplasia, this defect leaves the tooth vulnerable to damage and decay.

What is the cause of canine enamel hypoplasia?

Some dogs are just more prone to developing canines that have hypoplasias. The defect can be inherited or occur for any of a number of other reasons.

A recessive gene may be passed down in families. This means that both parents must carry the same recessive gene (and be unaware of it) in order to have an affected puppy.

Stress and malnutrition are important. Poor quality of food, lack of vitamin supplementation, and poor living conditions can all lead to canine enamel hypoplasia.

How is the condition diagnosed?

Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will take an X-ray of your dog’s mouth. Teeth with hypoplasia show up as dark spots on the X-ray.

Sources & references used in this article:

The etiology of enamel hypoplasia: a unifying concept by G Nikiforuk, D Fraser – The Journal of pediatrics, 1981 – Elsevier

Enamel hypoplasia in the primary dentition: a review. by WK Seow – ASDC journal of Dentistry for Children, 1991 – europepmc.org

Relationship of enamel hypoplasia to the pattern of tooth crown growth: a discussion by S Hillson, S Bond – … Anthropology: The Official Publication of the …, 1997 – Wiley Online Library