Enamel Hypoplasia / Dysplasia
Occasionally a dog or cat may have a tooth or several teeth erupt with abnormal enamel. Enamel is the white substance that covers the crown of a tooth. This abnormal enamel could be secondary to enamel hypoplasia or a faulty formation of the enamel matrix. As the pet matures the unhealthy or missing enamel chips away further. The underlying dentin, which is made up of living microscopic tubules, takes up the stain of the oral cavity. This causes the tooth to discolor usually turning first yellow then to brown. Treatment of enamel dysplasia involves removal of all abnormal enamel and then sealing the underlying dentin with either a composite restoration (filling) or bonded sealant. It is important that the pet does not chew on any hard or abrasive toys, as dentin is much softer than enamel and teeth with enamel dysplasia are more likely to wear and/or fracture than teeth with normal enamel.