Tooth Enamel Malformation in Dogs
Enamel Hypoplasia/Hypocalcification in Dogs
The outer coating of the tooth, the enamel, develops according to a specific set of physical and environmental circumstances. Normally developed enamel will have a smooth, white appearance. However, when conditions in the environment interfere with the development of tooth enamel, teeth can take on a discolored, pitted or otherwise unusual appearance.
Bodily influences, like canine distemper virus (in young puppies that are not vaccinated) or a fever over an extended period of time, may cause pitting and discolored enamel surfaces. Local influences, like injury (even from baby tooth extraction) over a short period of time can cause specific patterns or bands to appear on the developing teeth. These types of traumas can result in less than normal deposits of enamel, medically termed hypocalcification. The lack of sufficient enamel may cause the teeth to be more sensitive, with exposed dentin (which is normally hidden underneath the enamel), and occasionally fractures of severely compromised teeth. The teeth usually remain fully functional.
Symptoms and Types
Discolored teeth may be found by your veterinarian during a routine physical exam, which normally includes a complete oral exam. Intraoral radiographs (X-rays) can then be taken by your veterinarian to determine if the roots of the teeth are still alive.
A low level of calcium in the blood
A medical condition in which the gums become inflamed
The white substance over the crown of teeth
The tissue that holds the tooth in place in the mouth
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