What are genetic dental defects?
Genetic dental defects are abnormalities of a patient’s oral tissues and bone. They are genetically triggered. Oral genetic defects can be simple to life threatening, so it’s important to seek treatment if you are exhibiting any of the conditions described here. Our team at the Hampton Dental Associates is trained and qualified to treat any of these problems.
What are the most common dental genetic defects?
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
The most common dental genetic defect, this occurs when the lip or the palate of the patient fails to fuse together during development inside the womb. This condition can be corrected through cleft and craniofacial surgery. The treatment, especially in children, involves a series of treatments from multi-disciplinary teams. The teams coordinate cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to reposition the jaw, contour the facial bones, and address facial tissue issues. Speech and hearing therapy is needed to ensure normal speech development.
Anodontia and Hypodontia
These are congenital defects where one or more of the patient’s permanent teeth fail to develop. Hypodontia is the term when some teeth fail to develop; Anodontia is the absence of all the patient’s teeth. This hereditary condition will affect the bone development of both the upper and lower jaw and cause spacing problems in the future. These conditions are treated either by leaving any remaining primary teeth in place and then having the patient wear braces, or by using bridges to correct the problem.
This hereditary condition is the presence of extra permanent teeth; some may erupt and some may not. These extra teeth may appear anywhere in the gums and are irregularly shaped. The appearance of the extra teeth causes problems with overcrowding, tooth displacement, and pathological complications such as cyst formation. Treatment involves a series of procedures to manage all the effects of the extra teeth, including pain management.
Malocclusions are problems with a patient’s bite that can be attributed to overcrowding of the teeth, missing teeth, or problems with jaw alignment. Cases of malocclusions must be treated to prevent their progression to Temporomandibular Jaw (TMJ) disorders. Maloclusions are usually treated with oral surgery, combined with orthodontic treatments in order to achieve the perfect bite for the patient.
Amelogenesis and Dentinogenesis Imperfecta
Amelogenesis Imperfecta is the defective formation of the tooth’s enamel, while Dentinogenesis Imperfecta is the defective formation of the tooth’s dentin. These hereditary conditions cause the surface of the tooth to flake, leaving it weak, quick to wear, and sensitive to temperature changes. A full crown restoration is recommended to restore the appearance and function of the teeth.
Periodontal or gum disease occurs when bacteria infects the gum tissue, causing inflammation and resulting damage to the tissues that support the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause a patient to lose healthy teeth. It can be treated with scaling and root planing to clean the plaque covering the root and surfaces of the teeth. In more serious cases of gum disease, surgical treatment, and the use of dentures or dental implants to replace missing teeth may be necessary.
This genetic condition causes gum tissue overgrowth due to the over-production of collagen. The condition is treated through gingivectomy, a surgical procedure that removes the overgrown gum tissue.
Oral cancer appears as tiny white or red spots and sores in any area in the mouth. Although oral cancer is commonly caused by alcohol and tobacco use, genetic predisposition increases the risk of developing oral cancer in most patients. Those with a genetic predisposition should have regular dental check-ups; this will allow your dentist to detect oral cancer early to increase the chances of successful treatment. Being able to find and remove the lesions before they become cancerous vastly decreases mortality due to oral cancer. In more serious cases of oral cancer, patients may be required to undergo surgery, and radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
Read more about a Genetic Defect patient case in Milwaukee, WI.
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