After several nights of miserable teething, your baby's tooth finally erupts through the gums. You're so proud that your child finally has that first tooth, but you can't help but thinking it looks a little bluish. It's probably not your imagination. Healthy baby teeth are stark white when they first erupt. If your baby's tooth has a blue tint, he or she probably has a condition known as dentinogenesis imperfecta.
What is dentinogenesis imperfecta?
Before you panic, you should know that this is condition is not deadly and is not causing your baby any pain. There is nothing you could have done to prevent the disease, since it is a congenital condition. Your baby is going to be okay, but it's essential that you contact your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist promptly, since treatment will be needed to protect your child's teeth from decay.
Dentinogenesis imperfecta is a condition in which the dentin, which is the layer of the tooth beneath the enamel, does not form properly. As a result, the teeth has a blue-gray appearance. Usually, if one tooth is effected, they are all effected.
How is dentinogensis imperfecta diagnosed?
If you think your baby may have this condition, your dentist will perform an examination and probably take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis. The diagnosis process should be completely painless for your child.
How is dentinogensis imperfecta treated?
It's important that children with this condition receive treatment promptly, since their weakened teeth are prone to rapid decay and may chip away if left alone. When the disease is caught early, a dentist can generally apply caps to protect the teeth. Sometimes, the teeth fall out or become seriously decayed either in spite of the caps, or because the caps are not applied soon enough. In cases such as these, partial dentures may be used once the child is old enough to eat solid foods and handle taking the dentures in and out.
Since children with dentinogenesis imperfecta are so prone to tooth decay, you'll need to be extra careful about brushing and flossing your child's teeth after every meal. Sugary drinks and foods should be avoided, as these promote tooth decay.
Will your baby's adult teeth be normal?
Dentinogensis imperfecta affects both the baby and permanent teeth, but usually the permanent teeth are not affected as seriously. Your dentist will likely recommend bringing your child in to the office each time a new adult tooth emerges, so that tooth can be capped as soon as possible.
Some cases of dentinogensis imperfecta are more serious than others. If your child's adult teeth are too weak to remain in the mouth, your dentist will likely recommend having them pulled and replaced with dental implants. Dental implant surgeries have become quite common, and once the new teeth are in place, they will look and feel just like normal, healthy teeth.
Will your grandchildren have dentinogenesis imperfecta, too?
Dentinogenesis imperfecta is inherited by a recessive trait. This means that if your child grows up and has a baby with someone else who either has dentinogensis imperfecta or carries one copy of the recessive trait, that baby may have the condition, too. Genetic testing can determine whether a person with normal teeth carries the dentinogensis imperfecta gene. Your child and his or her future partner may choose to undergo genetic testing if they want to know whether or not their children are at risk for this condition.
It's never pleasant to discover that something is wrong with your baby, and dentinogenesis imperfecta is certainly no fun to deal with. However, it's important to remain positive. With today's advanced dental treatments, children with this disease grow up to live completely normal lives. In the worst case scenario, your child may need dental implants – and that's really not so terrible.
Visit http://www.inserodentalimplants.com/ to learn more about possible treatment options.