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Amelogenesis imperfecta

Definition

Amelogenesis imperfecta is a tooth development disorder in which the teeth are covered with thin, abnormally formed enamel.

Causes

Amelogenesis imperfecta is passed down through families as a dominant trait. That means you only need to get the abnormal gene from one parent in order for you to get the disease.

Symptoms

The enamel of the tooth is soft and thin. The teeth appear yellow and are easily damaged. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth are affected.

See also: Abnormal tooth color

Exams and Tests

A dentist can identify and diagnose the condition.

Treatment

The treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Full crowns will improve the appearance of the teeth and protect them from damage. Eating a diet that is low in sugar and practicing very good oral hygiene can reduce the chance of developing cavities.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Treatment is often successful in protecting the teeth.

Possible Complications

The enamel is easily fractured and damaged, which affects the appearance of the teeth, especially if left untreated.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your dentist if you have symptoms of this condition.


Review Date: 2/25/2014
Reviewed By: Ilona Fotek, DMD, MS, Palm Beach Prosthodontics Dental Associates, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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