From cavities and tooth staining to gum disease and infections, there are numerous issues that can affect your overall health. Most of these issues are common and easy to diagnose and correct, but other medical conditions that affect your oral health can be difficult to understand. While this is surprising to learn, oculodentodigital dysplasia has only been diagnosed in about 1000 people worldwide. This extremely rare condition not only affects a person's mouth, teeth, and gums, but also the development and function of the eyes, fingers, and hands. With this guide, you will understand the development, symptoms, and treatment options for patients with oculodentodigital dysplasia.
Learning the 411 on Oculodentodigital Dysplasia
Oculodentodigital dysplasia is caused by a mutation of the genes that is inherited. Due to this, preventing the disorder is not possible. However, proper understanding can help diagnose the syndrome and treat the physical symptoms.
Here are the most common symptoms of oculodentodigital dysplasia:
- Numerous missing teeth
- Teeth are abnormally small
- Excessive cavities
- Severe tooth staining
- Weak, brittle tooth enamel
- Overgrown, thick lower jaw
- Smaller skull
- Crossed eyes
- Atrophy of the eye
- Abnormal bone development in fingers and toes
- Webbing of fingers and toes
Your doctor and dentist may notice these abnormalities during your regular physical checkups and dental-health exams. If you are experiencing one or more of the above signs, do not panic. In many cases, these signs could be due to other physical and oral-health problems. However, consult your preferred medical professionals for a full evaluation.
Diagnosing Oculodentodigital Dysplasia
Once you notice the physical signs of oculodentodigital dysplasia, your doctor will conduct a few genetic tests. These tests will determine if you have mutated chromosomes, proteins, and genes that are prominent in patients with oculodentodigital dysplasia.
If you have children or siblings, your doctor will recommend having them tested as well.
Treating Oculodentodigital Dysplasia
Unfortunately, there is no cure for oculodentodigital dysplasia, but you can treat or manage the symptoms of this condition. The disorder can progress, causing serious complications, so it is important to not ignore the signs.
To get started, your doctor will most likely recommend focusing on your dental issues. Weakened enamel and bone strength can lead to numerous problems that will affect your oral health.
Make sure to brush regularly to reduce your risk of severe cavities, decay, and periodontal disease. Also, visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings that will remove stubborn and dangerous plaque and tartar. Without maintaining the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums, you may experience tooth loss, reducing your ability to eat, speak, and live a normal life.
Consulting an ophthalmologist is also essential for patients with oculodentodigital dysplasia. Since most patients with the syndrome have smaller eyes, fluid buildup is common. This buildup of fluid can lead to cataracts and glaucoma. These conditions can not only decrease your ability to see in a clear, safe manner but also can cause pain and discomfort.
Surgical repair of abnormal bones in the hands and feet is also a possibility, but these procedures can be invasive and dangerous. Many patients living with oculodentodigital dysplasia choose to work with physical therapists, which can help them learn how to use their hands and feet without surgery. Of course, it is important to note that surgery may be the best option for certain people.
While oculodentodigital dysplasia is a rare disorder, proper understanding is beneficial for patients showing one or more signs of the condition. Thankfully, educating yourself and working with your medical professionals can help you live with this disorder. With this guide, you will understand the signs, diagnostic tests, and treatment options of oculodentodigital dysplasia.