Children and adolescents in Germany are increasingly suffering from so-called chalk teeth. On average, already ten to 15 percent of children affected by this disorder in the enamel, as the German Society of Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial announced on Thursday in Berlin.
In the twelve-year-old already have more than every third child chalk teeth. They are in this age group now a bigger problem than tooth decay. The professional society therefore spoke of a “new widespread disease”. It is therefore a mineralization disorder during tooth development, which shows, inter alia, by white-yellowish or yellow-brown discoloration of the chewing surfaces or tooth bumps. In severe cases, the enamel may splinter. Such chalk teeth are extremely sensitive to pain and are very sensitive to heat, cold and brushing teeth.
In 1987, the so-called molar incisional hypomineralization (MIH) was described for the first time scientifically. According to experts, plasticizers appear to play an important role in the production of plastics, which are taken up with the food. In animal experiments, therefore, a connection between the chemical bisphenol A and the development of MIH was detected.
Several potential causes identified
Bisphenol A acts like a human hormone and has been criticized for years. The substance can be absorbed or inhaled through the diet and through the skin. In baby bottles bisphenol A is banned since 2011 EU-wide.
Other potential causes of MIH include pregnancy issues, infectious diseases, antibiotics, chickenpox, dioxin and upper respiratory tract disorders. The exact cause is still scientifically unclear.
Because there are already changes during tooth development and the specific causes are not yet clear, effective prevention against chalk teeth is not possible. According to the experts, prophylaxis is all the more important because MIH teeth are particularly susceptible to caries. Necessary are regular examinations with the dentist and the treatment with fluoride varnish. The construction of the teeth with different techniques could also help to preserve chalk teeth for a lifetime.