Congenital Diseases of the Teeth
Congenital diseases, also known as birth defects, occur at or before birth. Congenital anomalies may be hereditary, environmental or the result of risk factors. According to the World Health Organization, about 50 percent of congenital diseases have no known, specific cause.
There are several congenital conditions that affect the tissues of the tooth. A study published in Inside Dentistry reports two of these conditions are hypoplasia and hypocalcification, where pits or malformations in the enamel surface affect the strength of the enamel covering the tooth.
Certain stains or tooth discolorations can also be attributed to congenital defects. Patients can also have defects where too many teeth form (supernumerary teeth) or too few teeth form (congenitally missing teeth). Teeth can be congenitally rotated, affecting tooth positioning and functional bite (malocclusion).
Congenital diseases of the teeth vary greatly, and it is often necessary to see an oral care professional to differentiate between various possible conditions.