Hutchinson’s teeth are a sign and symptom of Congenital Syphilis, which happens when a pregnant woman transmits syphilis to her child in utero to a bit.
This condition is noticeable in a child when they develop permanent teeth and their incisors and molar take in a triangular or peglike appearance.
Moreover, they are wide spaces between the teeth and may also have weak enamel.
Hutchinson Teeth is a part of Hutchinson Trail which involves teeth, ears, and eyes.
This condition is named after Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, who worked at a London Hospital in the late 1800s.
Congenital Syphilis is an infectious disease due to spirochete before the birth of a child.
Symptoms of this disease often do not appear in early childhood and may take years to appear.
Keep on reading to learn more about Hutchinson teeth as well as the appearance of symptoms. treatment options and how to prevent it.
Causes of Hutchinson Teeth
A bacterial infections syphilis is the cause of Hutchinson disease and occurs before or during the birth of a child.
Many doctors consider Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection, STI.
It begins as a sore on the skin of an individual’s genitals, rectum or mouth, and spreads through mucous.
It can also spread through skin contact with these sores.
In the early stages, syphilis may be painless. In fact, many people often do not realize it for many years.
Additionally, the signs and symptoms include a full-body rash, hair loss, and flu-like symptoms like fever, muscle aches, and sore throat.
However, these symptoms come and go with time.
In most cases, babies develop Hutchinson teeth and are even at greater risk of developing them.
This is because, if a mother is suffering from syphilis, for less than 2 years, then the chances increases.
Moreover, the risk of an increase of infection increase when a woman does not get treatment before week 18 in pregnancy.
Exposure can occur when the baby is in the womb through the placenta or at the time of birth.
Learn more about mouth sores here.
Signs and Symptoms of Hutchinson Teeth
Most often, newborn babies do not show the signs and symptoms of syphilis exposure during early childhood, however, they tend to develop.
If your child is suffering from this disease, they may also experience the Hutchinson triad which includes:
- Eye issues or interstitial keratitis that involves inflammation of the cornea
- Inner ear issues or labyrinthine disease that may cause deafness in your child
- Teeth abnormalities or Hutchinson teeth
In most cases, this disease is not noticeable in your child until the age of 5 when permanent teeth begin to appear.
Moreover, this condition affects the permanent central incisors and molars of your child.
Specific features you might observe in your child are peg-shaped with a crescent-shaped notch, and smaller teeth.
Moreover, wide spaces among the teeth and thinning or discoloration of enamel are the signs and symptoms.
However, if you are not sure about your child’s teeth, you should visit your doctor or pediatric dentist to seek medical advice.
Learn more about your baby’s teeth.
In order to treat Hutchinson teeth, you need to visit your pediatrician for a diagnosis and medication.
In most cases, a blood test and sometimes a lumbar puncture can confirm the diagnosis of this disease.
Treatment options include a shot of penicillin and your child may need additional doses if the disease persists for more than a year.
However, the damage to the teeth is irreversible and you will need dental treatment for your child.
These are Dental Restorations.
There are different options for treating your child’s teeth and include crowns, bridges, filling, and dental implants.
It is important to consult your dentist about which option works best for your child and if you have concerns, talk to them.
Let’s discuss these treatment options as follows:
A dental crown is a cap for a damaged tooth and is made from a variety of materials including porcelain and metal.
When the dentist cements the bridge onto the tooth, they fully cover the visible portion of the tooth that lies above the gum line.
There are different types of dental crowns.
Stainless Steel: Your doctor will apply them on permanent teeth to protect the tooth or a filling, moreover, it is often recommended for permanent teeth of children.
Metals: These contain gold, platinum, or base-metal alloys. These can withstand biting and chewing forces and lasts longer in terms of wearing down.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal: These are just the same color as your teeth, however, they often tend to wear down.
All-resin: These contain resin, however are more prone to fractures.
These are false teeth that help to fill the spaces between teeth.
Dental bridges can also help fix bite issues and restores natural face shapes and smiles.
A dental bridge is a false tooth or pontics that hold in place by the abutment teeth on either side of the gap between the teeth.
There are different types of dental bridges and includes:
Traditional Bridges: This consists of a false tooth or teeth that hold in a place by a dental crown that your doctor will cement into each side of the abutment teeth.
Cantilever Dental Bridge: The optic in this type of bridge hold in place by a dental crown that your dentist cements to only one abutment tooth.
Maryland Dental Bridge: This bridge uses two natural abutment teeth, one on each side of the gap
However, it uses a framework of either metal or porcelain that your dentist will bond onto the aks of the abutment teeth.
Implant-supported Dental Bridge: This type uses dental implants and your doctor will surgically place them for every missing tooth.
Moreover, these hold the bridge in position.
Your dentist will put a titanium metal post in the jaw bone to serve as a base for crowns or bridges.
However, they are unable to place an implant in the jaw bone until the jaw bone of your child develops.
Moreover, this is an effective alternative to dentures or bridgework that does not fit well and can also offer an option when your child lacks natural tooth roots.
During the procedure of dental implant, your child’s dentist will place a titanium tooth implant in one socket.
With time, the jaw bone heals and grows around the implant, thus anchoring it to the jaw bone.
After a time period of about 6 to 12 weeks, they will place the new artificial tooth, or a crown onto the abutment.
They either consist of composite material, the same as your child’s teeth, dental amalgam or silver, or that of gold.
During this treatment, your child’s dentist will fill the holes with a substance like an amalgam or composite, however, your child may have tooth sensitivity for a few days.
Preventing Hutchinson Teeth
One of the best ways to prevent Hutchinson teeth in your child is to treat syphilis before conceiving.
You may or may not notice the signs and symptoms of this disease, thus, it is important to get different tests if there is a possibility you may have it.
Particularly, you will have to get different tests for syphilis and other STIs if you have other STIs, or you are pregnant or want to conceive.
However, it is important to get treatment before the 16th week of your pregnancy.
However, after the 18th week, there is a cure for the disease for your child, they may still suffer from irreversible deafness, eye issues, and bone and joint issues.
Caring for Hutchinson Teeth
After the eruption of teeth, be careful and make sure that your child as well as you take care of them whatever shape they are in.
According to the recommendations of the American Dental Association, ADA your child should follow dental and oral hygiene as follows:
- make sure your child brushes teeth twice a day
- floss between teeth daily
- limit the use of beverage and snacks that contains added sugars
- use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride
- visit your pediatric dentist for regular appointments.
- eating a healthy and balanced diet that has a low sugar content
- avoid acidic foods and drinks
While the signs and symptoms of Hutchinson teeth are not reversible, it is important, however, to treat the underlying causes, syphilis to prevent other medical issues.
After the eruption of permanent teeth in your child, you can talk to your pediatric dentist and pediatrician about different cosmetic procedures that can help your child correct the appearance of their teeth.
Moreover, if you are pregnant or plan on conceiving, it is important to get tests of syphilis or other STis if you think you have been exposed to them. This can help treat the infection and stop it from moving on to your child. If you have it you can get treatment for your child during the 18th week of pregnancy, however, it can not reverse the symptoms like deafness or deformation of teeth.