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How now brown teeth.

2009-05-28 - 12:02 p.m.

In theory, Biscuit could now join the army for the American Civil War – he has two opposing front teeth for ripping open gunpowder packaging, plus a bonus besides. His mother, being the pacifist she is, would however, oppose his recruitment. I kid, I’m not a total pacifist. I would, however, fear for his teeth, since the upper two are coming in brown and are therefore softer and more prone to injury and decay. Fortunately, the lower one seems all shiny and white like a new tooth is supposed to look.

The dentist verdict is “enamel hypoplasia” (improper formation of the tooth enamel during its development), so I’m sending out a big “screw you” to all the search results that pointed the finger at decay, plus those asses that asked me if I allow Biscuit to nurse at night. News flash: if the tooth is already brown under the gums so that it comes in brown? NOT DECAY and, also? NOT MY FAULT!

Well, not my fault in the action sense, though there is often a genetic link with this condition. Since I know I have thin enamel, plus J’s dad has no teeth left whatsoever and hasn’t for years, this seems entirely feasible. Also, it’s entirely possible that, because the upper front two teeth mostly form in utero and fully calcify only 2 months after birth, the miserable cold I had while pregnant may have coincided with a crucial point of development and that could have been the “event” that caused the genetic predisposition to trigger the improper formation of enamel. So yeah, maybe a little my fault, but not in any way I could control.

The good news is that the dentist doesn’t think it will affect his adult teeth, unless there is/was a “separate event”. He bases this on the fact that only the top two front teeth (so far) are brown (the most visible ones, natch). Since they are the first to form, any event which affected them would only have affected them. Whereas, if the back molars were brown, the event could have overlapped with the simultaneous formation of the adult front teeth. You follow? In other words, if he has any adult teeth which are brown, it would most likely be due to something else happening (fever, cold, etc.) at the wrong time. A little comforting, even if you take into account the numerous colds and fevers this little guy has had over the winter.

So for now we just have to be diligent about his oral hygiene, because he’s at greater risk for decay. And if any of his adult teeth do come in brown? There are plenty of cosmetic dentistry options for him when he’s older, plus who knows what advances will be made in that field in the next 10 years? Don’t get me wrong, it does kind of suck and I’m really hoping he doesn’t have to put up with a lot of teasing or people making ignorant comments, but if that’s the worst that he endures in his life I’d be thankful.


If anyone in the Ottawa area is looking for a good, nay GREAT pediatric dentist? Email me and I'll send you a recommendation.

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