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How can one experiment the contributioin of non-dietary factors to the prevelance of dental caries? in other words, what experiments can one conduct to see how things like (Enamel hypoplasia, low income, premature birth) contribute to tooth decay? thanks so much!

Posted Aug 26 2019

Answered on Aug 28 2019
Enamel hypoplasia is a defect of primary and permanent teeth during it's developmental stage, enamel is the hardest part of teeth which gives it protection, but when enamel hypoplasia occurs the enamel remains hard but becomes thin . Teeth have three layers, enamel is the hardest outer layer, the dentine is below and the root is below. Enamel is the only part of teeth that can be seen from outside. Enamel hypoplasia occurs due to defective enamel matrix formation.It is hereditary the baby teeth as well as the adult teeth gets affected by this , teeth has three developmental phases they are i) Formation ii) Mineralization iii) Maturation. In enamel hypoplasia the formative phase of tooth development gets affected. Ameloblasts are the cells responsible for tooth development found only during the developmental stage, they deposit tooth enamel forming the surface of crown, it controls the ionic and organic composition of enamel. Enamel hypoplasia occurs due to deficiency of nutritional factors (like Vit A,C,D) , in lower income groups usually malnutrition occurs , because they are not able to provide foods like egg, milk, meat and other nutritional supplements to children, which help in development of teeth as well as overall growth of body parts. Hypocalcemia :- It is another factor responsible for Enamel hypoplasia, occurs due to deficiency of calcium and Vitamin-D in body, usually the range of calcium in serum of a normal person is 2.1-2.6 mmol/lit , but in hypocalcemia condition the level of calcium is less than 2.1 mmol/lit. Hypocalcemia also related to parathyroid hormone, decreased levels of parathyroid hormone in body causes imbalance of the calcium/ phosphorus ratio, leading to hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. In this case, tooth eruption is delayed. In premature birth or premature baby :- The infant undergoes lots of metabolic stresses, due to which enamel hypoplasia occurs, there is a direct relationship between enamel hypoplasia in primary teeth and neonatal hypocalcemia. Vitamin D deficiency in this condition may be due to vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, which in lower income groups does not provide the mother with sufficient nutritional supplement at the time of pregnancy. It is concluded that the factors responsible for causing injury to ameloblasts such as nutritional deficiency (Vit-A,C,D), hypocalcemia and premature birth lead to enamel hypoplasia.

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