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Molar hypomineralisation, also known as molar-incisor hypomineralisation (MIH) or “chalky teeth,” is a specific type of enamel hypomineralisation that primarily affects the first permanent molars (6 year old molar teeth) and sometimes the permanent incisors. This condition results in enamel that is less mineralised and more prone to damage and decay.

Characteristics of Molar Hypomineralisation:

  1. Appearance:
    • Affected teeth often have demarcated opacities that can be white, yellow, or brown.
    • These opacities are typically located on the chewing surfaces and the sides of the molars and sometimes on the incisors.
  2. Texture and Strength:
    • The hypomineralised enamel is softer and more porous, making it more susceptible to wear, fracture, and decay.
    • The affected areas can be crumbly or “chalky,” hence the term “chalky teeth.”
  3. Sensitivity:
    • Teeth with MIH are often more sensitive to temperature changes, sweet or acidic foods, and mechanical forces.
    • This can cause discomfort or pain, making it difficult for affected individuals to maintain proper oral hygiene.
  4. Prevalence:
    • MIH is a relatively common condition, affecting about 10-20% of children worldwide.
    • It typically becomes apparent when the first permanent molars and incisors erupt, around the ages of 6 to 7.
  5. Causes:
    • The exact cause of MIH is not well understood, but it is believed to be multifactorial.
    • Potential factors include systemic illnesses during the early years of life, high fevers, certain medications, nutritional deficiencies, and environmental factors.
  6. Challenges in Management:
    • The altered enamel can make dental treatments more challenging.
    • Restorative materials may not adhere well to the hypomineralised enamel.
    • Preventive and restorative measures are crucial to manage sensitivity and prevent further damage.
  7. Treatment Options:
    • Remineralising agents such as fluoride and casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) such as GC Toothmousse can help strengthen the enamel.
    • Sealants and restorative materials can protect the affected teeth.
    • In severe cases, crowns or other extensive restorations might be necessary.
    • Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are essential.

Addressing molar hypomineralisation early is crucial to prevent complications and maintain oral health. Learn more about Sam’s story.

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