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Recognizing Ectodermal Dysplasias in Your Child

Ectodermal dysplasias are a group of disorders that can cause abnormalities in the teeth, skin, hair, and sweat glands. The symptoms depend on the specific tissue affected, and there are over 100 different variations of the disorder. Ectodermal dysplasias are generally rare and affect males and females in equal numbers. 

Ectodermal dysplasias that affect the teeth can cause several oral health issues for children including deformed or underdeveloped teeth, missing teeth, and delayed eruptions. If your child is experiencing dental problems and abnormalities caused by ectodermal dysplasia, we can help. 

Our periodontist Dr. Mahallati and the dental team at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills, California, have expertise in treating ectodermal dysplasia.

What should I know about ectodermal dysplasia?

Like any developmental issue, catching the signs of ectodermal dysplasia as early as possible will help to manage the risk of long-term complications and carrying dental problems into adulthood. 

Since there are so many types of ectodermal dysplasia, getting a specific diagnosis can be difficult. Some of the most common forms of the disorder that affect the teeth include hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED), ectrodactyly-ectodermal defects-clefting (EEC) syndrome, ankyloblepharon-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting (AEC Syndrome), and tooth and nail syndrome. The dental problems caused by ectodermal dysplasia can affect everything from your child’s nutrition to their confidence and self-esteem.

According to the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias, approximately one in 10,000 babies are born with some form of the disorder. As a genetic disorder, it is mostly hereditary, so knowing your family’s history can help you determine if your child is at risk even before birth. 

Signs and symptoms of ectodermal dysplasia

In some cases, symptoms like a cleft palate may be diagnosed before the baby is born through an ultrasound. When the teeth are affected, many parents don’t notice a problem until their child’s teeth begin to erupt around six months. 

In addition to delays or abnormal development with teeth, hair, and skin, other potential symptoms of ectodermal dysplasias parents should be aware of include:

It can be difficult for parents to know that something is wrong until the baby begins missing developmental milestones, so carefully monitoring their progress is the best way to spot potential abnormalities. According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), parents should schedule baby’s first dental check-up by age one, or within six months after the first tooth erupts. This allows Dr. Mahallati to see how your child’s teeth and gums are developing, and whether there are any issues with their oral health.

For more information about ectodermal dysplasia and the cosmetic and general dentistry options available at our Beverly Hills office, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahallati, or book your appointment online.

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