Mica hypoplasia is a weakening of an important tissue on the surface of teeth, enamel. Such a change in the protective surface of the teeth can cause many problems for people who suffer from it.
Tooth enamel is the most outermost and superficial tissue in the teeth, made up mostly of minerals. It is made up of a group of lime crystals called hydroxyapatite and is the hardest and most durable substance in the body. Its main function is to cover and protect the teeth.
If this structure is deficient or impaired, it may be mica hypoplasia. In this article, we will explain what this dental abnormality is, why it occurs, and what complications it can cause. We will also tell you what you can do if you suffer from this affliction.
What is mica hypoplasia?
Mica hypoplasia is a disorder of tooth enamel associated with malformation of the teeth. It usually occurs when a tooth forms.
The result is a tooth whose enamel is defective or of poor quality. Sometimes the symptoms caused by this ailment are barely noticed and are almost unnoticed.
Sometimes they are very clear. They can be seen as white spots or dots, streaks, cavities, dents, grooves, or deterioration in the shape and surface of the teeth. The surface is rough and the above defects appear brown or yellow. In the most severe cases, the enamel is completely absent and the teeth are smaller and deformed.
As already mentioned, the function of the enamel is to cover and protect the teeth. When this tissue is incomplete or damaged, the inner and softer layers of the tooth may be exposed.
This leads to the following complications:
- Sensitivity to cold, hot and sweet
- Increased risk of perforation
- An aesthetic smile
Causes and ailments associated with hypoplasia
The cause of mica hypoplasia is often difficult to determine. As we have already said, the problem arises during the growth and formation of the tooth, but it only becomes apparent later when the tooth erupts into the mouth.
It is usually due to ailments or conditions that contribute to its birth and that already manifest in the womb or childhood. Below we have listed some of the conditions that can cause mica hypoplasia.
Problems during pregnancy
Our teeth begin to form already when we are in our mother’s womb. The lime minerals attach, forming what becomes the crown of future teeth.
Any factor that interferes with pregnancy can have consequences for the development of enamel, preventing or slowing its formation. Any illness, high fever, infection during pregnancy, eating certain medications, drug addiction, or nutrient deficiencies can cause mica hypoplasia in a developing baby.
Problems in early childhood
Just like in the womb, in the first years of a person’s life, teeth are just forming. Any adverse event at this stage can affect the mica-forming cells and cause hypoplasia.
Adverse situations in childhood can include premature birth, low birth weight, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, infections, systemic illness, use of certain medications, and very high fever.
An accident in childhood is a very common cause of mica hypoplasia. It usually happens that a blow to a deciduous tooth causes damage to the permanent tooth underneath through its root.
Mica hypoplasia and heredity
There are inherited genetic factors associated with tooth formation. Some defects occur in a small area of only one tooth. In more severe cases, there may be defects in several teeth.
Mica hypoplasia of genetic origin is often just one symptom of a more complex syndrome with other symptoms elsewhere in the body.
Other, acquired causes of mica hypoplasia
Loss and wear of enamel can also be the result of external factors on the tooth surface. This degrades the quality of the tissue and thins it, revealing softer, deeper layers.
And while this is not a developmental disorder, as the hypoplasia itself is, it causes the same ailments typical of the disorder.
Here are some related situations:
- Tooth Erosion: Exposure of the tooth surface to acidic foods, vinegar, soft drinks, and citrus fruits often destroys enamel. Acid reflux can also cause this problem.
- Bruxism: Gnashing of teeth consumes teeth, exposing their inner layers.
- Accident: Impacts on the mouth can cause minor damage, such as cracks in the enamel.
- Very rough hygiene habits: Brushing your teeth with very fast movements, too hard or with too hard a brush often consumes a protective enamel.
Mica hypoplasia: available treatments
There are currently several treatment options for mica hypoplasia. Treatment is selected on a case-by-case basis depending on the degree of injury and the needs of the patient.
Dental judgment and careful examination are required. Below we describe the most common treatment options available for mica hypoplasia.
This is an appropriate treatment when mica hypoplasia manifests as white spots. Teeth whitening evens out the tone, making all teeth more uniform in color.
Teeth can be whitened by applying special chemicals to the surface. Treatment can be performed at the dentist’s office, at home at the dentist’s instructions, or a combination of both methods.
Tooth microabrasion and resin infiltration
This is a useful treatment when mica hypoplasia manifests as severe staining. In it, the damaged area of the tooth is ground to completely remove the discoloration.
A composite of the same color as the tooth is then applied to the lesion. In some cases, this maneuver may be done with rotating instruments, but sometimes this is not necessary and only hydrochloric acid is needed.
When patching teeth, a liquid resin is placed over cavities, grooves, and sites where there is mica hypoplasia. This filling is then cured with special light. The end result is finished by grinding.
In general, this treatment is useful when the damage is minor and superficial. This protects the tooth and reduces the risk of bacterial plaque attachment and perforation in the area.
Dental laminates or crowns
This option may be considered in very serious cases; when the damaged area is very large. Laminates or crowns are able to cover very visible color defects, rough surfaces and deformed teeth.
They are placed on the front of the tooth. They are porcelain or composite.
The crowns, in turn, cover the entire tooth like a cap. In this case, the teeth must be ground to put crowns on them. The crowns can be made of porcelain, metal or zirconium.
Their designs take into account the color, shape and size of the tooth, tailoring them to each clinical case.
Dental implants or dental bridges
In some rare and extreme cases, prosthesis is required to treat mica hypoplasia. In these cases, the damage is so great that there is not very much tooth left, and the best option is to remove it and replace it with a prosthesis.
Depending on the possibilities and the patient’s case, an implant or bridge can be used to repair the missing tooth.
Thus, mica should be treated to prevent hypoplasia
Mica hypoplasia is usually not preventable. However, dental care is necessary to prevent the emergence of other pathologies, such as cavities, on top of this damage.
As mentioned earlier, tooth enamel covers and protects the inner tissues of the teeth, and if it is damaged, it is unable to regenerate. So here are some good habits to help you take care of this important tooth tissue:
- Food: Consumption of very acidic and hard or sugary foods should be reduced. It is therefore important to reduce the consumption of soft drinks, vinegar, cider and citrus fruits.
- Dental Hygiene: Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste three times a day is very important to prevent bacterial plaque from accumulating on your teeth. Brushing movements should be gentle and all surfaces of the teeth should go through. Dental floss and mouthwash are also needed.
- Visit for regular check -ups : A visit to the dentist every six months allows problems to be detected and treated early. Cleaning and fluoridation at the reception also protect the enamel.
- Use fluorine: Fluorine provides extra protection for mica. Your dentist may prescribe a special toothpaste or fluoride mouthpiece.
These basics are useful in much more than just tooth enamel: they avoid many other oral problems and take care of the smile in general.
Now you know what mica hypoplasia is. So if you suspect it yourself or someone you know, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. A professional will help treat the problem.