[photos:copied from European Journal of Dentistry]
“Cervical enamel hypoplasia.”
Yes, that is the word. But what does it mean?”
She had been noticing that her teeth were yellowing at the gum line. And it was widespread, even her back teeth showed the sickly brownish yellow tinge.
When she looked closer she noticed little pits in the surfaces of the teeth. What horrified her, was when she noticed one tooth had lost almost all the enamel at the gum in a half crescent shape and the neighbor was following suit.
We talked about the possible causes:
Childhood malnutrition or febrile illnesses, Congenital causes, or fluorosis.
We also discussed her diet.
” I drink water with lemon every morning when I wake up. I want to lose my tummy fat, after my last pregnancy.”
I shook my head.” We have all read about the benefits of lemon on the body pH. I wont debate it at all, but did you know that lemon when taken in a concentrated form erodes your enamel?” Her face fell. “Does that mean I have to stop lemon in the morning?’
“Nope… It means after you drink it, you have to neutralize its effect on your teeth immediately! A Bicarbonate of soda containing tooth-paste will do. Alternatively, gargle several mouthfuls of water after drinking the lemon.”
“What about the teeth which have eroded?”
“We will fill the exposed areas with composite. Don’t worry, the fillings will look exactly like your own tooth color. We will also apply stannous fluoride to all your teeth as a special application at least three times. Please change your toothbrush to a soft texture one, and lets put you on a high fluoride toothpaste for at least a year.”
“Doc, The teeth are all yellowish now , and you have told me that we cannot bleach them because the enamel is weak. What do I do?”
‘True. Bleaching will open up the porous enamel. This is one of those situations where we choose the health of the teeth over the appearance. I propose we wait for at least six months for the teeth to strengthen, and then place cosmetic veneers over your teeth within your smile line.”
We began the work, and six months later, she left my office with a smile that would do her proud on her upcoming wedding photos.
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