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The Two Types Of Dentin Dysplasia

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Dentin tissue is the main material that makes up most of your teeth. Dentin dysplasia is a rare genetic condition that can cause the tissue to form in abnormal ways, and it can have adverse effects on your oral health. If you have dentin dysplasia, we'll break down the two types and let you know how you can best manage these conditions to maintain a level of oral health that keeps you smiling.

What is Dentin?

Dentin is one of the four main parts of every tooth, which are:

  • Enamel The hard, protective outer layer of a tooth above your gums.
  • Cementum The hard, protective outer layer beneath your gums.
  • Dentin The tissue beneath the enamel and cementum that makes up most of your tooth.
  • Pulp The inside of your tooth, where the root and the nerves reside.

Learn more about tooth anatomy.

What Is Dysplasia?

Dysplasia is a term that refers to the presence of abnormal cells in organs or tissues in your body.

Dentin dysplasia affects the dentin in your teeth, causing it to grow abnormally. There are two types of this condition. Whether you have type I or type II dentin dysplasia depends on whether the abnormal growth affects your teeth' root or crown.

What is Type I Dentin Dysplasia?

If your teeth are impacted by Type I dentin dysplasia (also known as radicular dysplasia), they likely appear normal above the gumline, but your roots will have developed poorly or not at all. Examined with an x-ray, your roots may appear shortened, pointed at the ends, and dark.

This condition can impact baby teeth or adult teeth and eventually results in tooth loss. According to the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD), people with type I dentin dysplasia tend to lose their teeth by about 30 or 40 years old.

Practicing good oral hygiene helps maintain the health of your teeth for as long as possible. Additionally, endodontists can perform procedures that treat your teeth' roots and pulps, potentially extending how long they last. If you have type I dentin dysplasia, speak with your dental professional to determine if they recommend endodontic treatment for you.

What Is Type II Dentin Dysplasia

Also known as coronal dysplasia, this condition affects the crowns of teeth (the part of a tooth that's visible above the gumline) as well as the pulp chamber. According to Medline Plus, type 2 dentin dysplasia most commonly affects primary teeth. When children have this condition, their baby teeth' enamel appears translucent with a yellow, brown, grey, or brownish-blue coloring, and the pulp chambers are obscure or non-existent.

When adult teeth are affected by type II dentin dysplasia, they can appear normal. Still, the dentin beneath the outer enamel layer is weak and eventually causes the enamel to wear or chip away. According to NORD, pulp chambers in adult teeth with this condition have a flame-shaped appearance in x-rays, show abnormal extensions toward the roots, and the pulp chambers can contain calcifications called pulp stones.

There are similar disorders called dentinogenesis imperfecta type II and III that, according to MedlinePlus, some researchers believe may be forms of the same disorder as Type II dentin dysplasia. The conditions share many of the same signs and symptoms.

In cases of both type 1 and type 2 dentin dysplasia, practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dental professional regularly is the best way to prolong the health of your teeth. If your condition results in tooth loss, speak with your dental professional about what replacement tooth options will be best for you. Even with dentin dysplasia, you can work together with your dental professional to maintain a healthy smile.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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