Congenital syphilis, which happens when a pregnant mother transmits syphilis to her child in utero or at birth, is characterised by Hutchinson's teeth.
The issue becomes apparent once a child's permanent teeth erupt. The incisors and molars resemble triangular pegs or triangles. They may have weak enamel and are widely spaced.
The "Hutchinson triad," which includes the teeth, ears, and eyes, includes Hutchinson's teeth. Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, an English surgeon and syphilis expert who worked at London Hospital in the late 1800s, is honoured by having his condition named after him.
Continue reading to find out more about Hutchinson's teeth, including illustrations, possible onset dates for symptoms, available cures, and steps you can take to avoid developing this condition.
Congenital syphilis, which happens when a pregnant mother transmits syphilis to her child in utero or at birth, is characterised by Hutchinson's teeth. The issue becomes apparent once a child's permanent teeth erupt. The incisors and molars resemble triangular pegs or triangles.
The teeth of Hutchinson are a symptom of congenital syphilis. The teeth of those who are affected are smaller, more widely spread, and have notches on the biting surfaces.
It was initially reported by an English surgeon and pathologist by the name of Sir Jonathan Hutchinson.
The Hutchinson triad includes Hutchinson's teeth.
Causes of Hutchinson's teeth
Exposure to the bacterial illness syphilis before or during pregnancy is the cause of Hutchinson's teeth.
Syphilis is thought to be a sexually transmitted disease (STI). It often starts as a sore in the mouth, rectum, or genitals. The infection then spreads via skin contact with these wounds or mucous membranes.
Early on in the illness, syphilis sores can not hurt. Some individuals might go years without realising they have it. Additional signs might be:
- a full-body rash
- flu-like symptoms (fever, muscle aches, sore throat)
- hair loss
With time, these symptoms may appear and go.
Babies whose mothers have had syphilis for less than two years are more likely to have Hutchinson teeth and other symptoms. In particular, if the infection is not treated before week 18 of pregnancy, the risk rises.
Exposure may happen via the placenta while the infant is still in the womb or even during labour.
Symptoms of Hutchinson's teeth
Although syphilis exposure symptoms may not initially manifest in newborn infants, these symptoms often do so as the infant grows. Children that are affected may suffer the Hutchinson triad, which consists of:
- inner ear issues (labyrinthine disease) that may cause deafness
- eye issues (interstitial keratitis) that involve inflammation of the cornea
- teeth abnormalities (Hutchinson's teeth)
Hutchinson's teeth may not be visible until your child is about 5 years old when permanent teeth start to erupt. The permanent central incisors and molars are the main teeth affected by this condition.
Particular traits include:
- peg-shaped with a crescent-shaped notch
- thinning or discolouration of enamel
- smaller teeth
- widely spaced teeth
Consult with your child's paediatrician or dentist if you're unsure whether or not their teeth exhibit these features.
Treating Hutchinson's teeth
Visit your physician for a diagnosis and any necessary medication before beginning treatment for Hutchinson's teeth.
Syphilis may be confirmed by a lumbar puncture or blood test. Penicillin injection is one of the treatment choices. Your youngster could need more doses if the illness has been present for more than a year.
Without dental procedures, tooth damage that has already happened cannot be repaired. We refer to them as dental restorations.
There are several ways to cure teeth:
Dentists apply these caps on teeth to restore their normal size, shape, and general functionality.
These dental prosthetics aid in closing gaps between teeth. Bridges also correct biting problems and bring back the natural contours of the face and smile.
Dental fillings are a typical method for repairing holes or cavities brought on by weakening enamel and other problems. They may be constructed of dental amalgam (silver), gold, or composite material (tooth colour).
To act as a foundation for crowns or bridges, a 1titanium metal post is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Implants cannot be inserted until the jaw has finished growing. This often occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Ask your dentist which procedures will benefit your kid the most. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage if cost is a problem.
Preventing Hutchinson's teeth
Treating syphilis prior to conception is the best way to avoid Hutchinson's teeth. If there's a chance you might have it, it's crucial to get tested whether or not you have symptoms.
- You might want to get tested for syphilis and other STIs in particular if:
- You now have two STIs. You have a higher chance of developing others if you already have one.
- Since the previous test, you have had several sexual partners and have not engaged in safe sex.
- You're expecting a child or intend to have a child.
Treatment should begin before the 16th week of pregnancy if possible. Even if the condition is treated after the 18th week, newborns may still have permanent hearing loss, vision problems, and problems with their bones and joints, such as Hutchinson's teeth.
Regular dental care
Make sure to take care of your teeth after they have emerged, no matter what form they are in. The following dental hygiene practices are advised by the American Dental Association:
- Utilizing fluoride toothpaste, brush twice daily.
- Use dental floss every day.
- Limit sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks.
- Take into account using a fluoride-containing mouthwash.
- Make routine dental visits.
Despite the fact that Hutchinson's teeth cannot be reversed, it is crucial to treat the underlying cause of syphilis in order to avoid other associated health problems.
Inquire with your child's paediatrician and dentist about cosmetic procedures to help improve the appearance of the teeth once the permanent teeth have erupted.
Get tested for syphilis if you think you may have been exposed to it if you're pregnant or considering getting pregnant so you can start treating the infection right away. Remember we are always here for you.
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