A number of conditions can result in defects in dental enamel, either from hypoplasia or developmental defects. Defective enamel is a risk factor for early childhood caries, especially in the poor.

Risk factors for enamel hypoplasia or developmental defects:

(1) maternal malnutrition during pregnancy

(2) premature birth or low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams)

(3) low socio-economic status

(4) diet deficient in minerals

(5) measles during infancy

(6) maternal or paternal smoking

(7) maternal liver disease

(8) failure to thrive

(9) low Apgar score or respiratory distress

(10) anemia

(12) malnutrition


Hereditary defects in enamel production would also impact enamel development.

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