While the term Hypophosphatasia may have us scratching our heads, this inherited disorder affects 1 in 100,000 newborns, and sabotages the development of healthy bones and teeth. With varying forms of the disorder and signs and symptoms appearing at unspecified times from birth through adulthood, it’s a good idea to become familiar with its implications on oral health. Here’s what you need to know about Hypophosphatasia.
Hypophosphatasia is best understood when severe forms are discussed first. Severe forms of this genetic disorder present physical signs that are obvious, such as shortened limbs or an underdeveloped chest at birth. This is because Hypophosphatasia halts the critical process of mineralization, which deposits calcium and phosphorous into bones. Generally, infants born with Hypophasphatasia are stillborn, or of lower birth weight. While they may survive for a short time, they often experience failure to thrive. In addition, many have respiratory and kidney problems, which result in death.
In its mildest form, Hypophosphatasia only affects the teeth. This condition is medically known as Odontohypophosphatasia. Characterized by abnormal tooth development and severe cavities, some cases may have only one physical symptom–premature loss of teeth, particularly the anterior (front) primary teeth. For a child with Odontohypophosphatasia, x-rays typically reveal reduced alveolar bone, thinning of the dentin in the tooth’s enamel, and enlarged pulp chambers or tooth roots.
At any stage, severe forms of Hypophosphatasia are easy to identify. Yet, in mild cases, or Odontohypophosphatasia, individuals may have lingering questions or concerns. This is why regular dental checkups are vital to oral health. Not only can dental professionals provide patients with necessary information regarding their oral health, they can help them make informed decisions that will advance their oral and overall health.
At Grateful Dental, Dr. Leia Porcaro holds extensive training in dentistry, which allows her to provide comprehensive dental services to patients of all ages. When it comes to oral health, Dr. Porcaro will spend ample time helping you understand your health, while putting you at ease with a compassionate and caring approach. Do you have concerns about your oral health? Dr. Leia Porcaro and the team at Grateful Dental welcome your call today.