A smile is a smile, but perhaps you've sometimes wondered why yours is the way it is. Your teeth never seemed to grow to what might be considered full size, and there are noticeable gaps between them. It might feel as though your smile never fully developed, and this is something you've just become used to. There might be an underlying reason for this type of dental development. While your teeth are certainly your own, you might also have Hutchinson's teeth.
Born With the Condition
There's nothing you could have done to prevent the condition, and your Hutchinson's teeth can be traced back to your birth, or even your time in the womb. This dental condition can arise when a mother has syphilis during pregnancy. She might not have been aware of this, since the symptoms of syphilis can be mild and difficult to pinpoint. You might have been diagnosed with congenital syphilis at birth or during your infancy and were treated at the time. There are a range of health complications that can affect a baby born with congenital syphilis, but these do not apply in all cases. It might be that your Hutchinson's teeth are the only effect, and this will not even become evident until your adult teeth start to develop.
Your Medical History
Please note that having small, widely spaced teeth in adulthood does not conclusively mean that you're affected by Hutchinson's teeth. Your dentist will need to know if you were diagnosed with congenital syphilis shortly after birth, and they will also check your dental enamel, as thin enamel can be present in those with the condition. Although the condition cannot be reversed, there is treatment that is both functional and aesthetic, depending on the specifics of your case.
Treatment for the Condition
When the enamel is particularly thin, your dentist might apply a sealant to your teeth in order to protect them. Alternatively, dental bonding (the application of a layer of dental cement) might be performed to achieve the same result, and this can also add mass to your teeth, increasing their size. When this is deemed to be unlikely to achieve the desired result, your dentist might suggest a series of dental crowns, which are prosthetic teeth used to cap the underlying teeth. These crowns will be of a larger size than the underlying teeth and will improve the look of your smile.
Hutchinson's teeth cannot be cured, but there are many options for improving the functionality and appearance of your teeth. Contact a dentist to learn more.