When Your Enamel Doesn’t Form Properly

Enamel is your teeth’s most important defense against tooth decay. This mineral layer can be weakened by overexposure to sugar and poor dental hygiene, leaving your teeth susceptible to trouble. However, in some cases, your enamel might not form properly on your teeth from the beginning, leaving them naturally prone to decay and other dental problems. This issue is called amelogenesis imperfecta, and it can cause problems that leave your teeth vulnerable, causing you and your dentist to have to work to maintain your healthy smile.

What is Amelogenesis Imperfecta?

Your enamel is made of a mineral layer that stretches over the other layers to protect your teeth. It is incredibly strong, but very brittle, and bacterial acid can wear through if allowed to. Amelogenesis imperfecta can cause the outer layer to be thinner than average or to have less minerals than usual (making it weaker), so it is easier for acid to erode. While it is a rare condition, it does highlight how important your enamel is, as symptoms can include teeth that are:

  • Smaller than average
  • Discolored
  • Pitted
  • Prone to breaking

Patients with the disorder may try to hide their teeth from others, because of these side effects.

Treatment of This Disorder

It is important for the dentist to catch the disorder as soon as possible, so that they can develop a treatment plan. To facilitate this, take your child to the dentist’s office when their first tooth erupts to allow the dentist to check for any problems. You can also make sure to schedule regular dental checkups so the dentist can monitor the patient’s oral health. We may use fluoride treatments or other preventive measures to protect teeth before an issue occurs. If a problem does occur, come to the office as soon as possible for treatment.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.