They are expressed by yellowish discolouration and high sensitivity to pain. In particularly severe cases, the enamel is so porous that it breaks. Around 13,000 children in Brandenburg have chalk teeth. The extent is so great that they have to be treated laboriously.
In its current dental report, the Barmer-Krankenkasse examines the causes of chalk teeth and establishes a connection with antibiotic prescriptions.
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“Up to the age of four, children with chalk teeth were prescribed around ten percent more antibiotics than children without chalk teeth. The processes by which antibiotics disrupt tooth enamel formation have yet to be carefully researched. It is important that antibiotics are prescribed with a sense of proportion, ”says Gabriela Leyh, state manager of the Barmer-Krankenkasse Berlin-Brandenburg.
Zahnreport narrows down possible causes for chalk teeth
For the dental report, Barmer evaluated the data from around 300,000 children between the ages of six and twelve. Regional differences became visible. North Rhine-Westphalia has the highest proportion of children with chalk teeth with 10.2 percent and Hamburg the lowest with 5.5 percent. However, a clear pattern, such as differences between town and country, are not discernible.
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Brandenburg is in the upper quarter with a share of 9.1 percent. It is also noticeable that girls (9.1 percent) are treated more often for chalk teeth than boys (7.6 percent) on average. The Barmer found no evidence for the hypothesis that caesarean section and premature birth pose a higher risk for chalk teeth.
Chalk teeth are no longer a marginal issue in dentistry
Research into molar incisive hypermineralization (MIH), the technical term for chalk teeth, is still in its infancy. What is certain is that MIH is the most common dental disease in children after tooth decay.
“In contrast to the formation of caries, sugar does not cause chalk teeth and regular brushing cannot prevent this. The teeth break through already damaged. That is why the message to parents is important: You have not done anything wrong! ” says Dr. Eberhard Steglich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists in the State of Brandenburg.
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