Patients With Ectodermal Dysplasias
Ectodermal dysplasias are a group of over 150 inherited genetic disorders that impair the development of the organs of the skin, hair, nails, sweat glands and teeth. When a person has at least two types of abnormal ectodermal features—for example, malformed teeth and extremely sparse hair—the individual is commonly identified as being affected by ectodermal dysplasia.
The ectodermal dysplasias are caused by changes or misspellings in our genes. In medical terms, these are often called “mutations”. Many genetic changes are unique to a family. However, even in families and individuals who have the exact same mutation, there can be variability in how the condition affects each family member.
Oral characteristics may include missing primary and/or adult teeth; malformed teeth; abnormal and/or unpredictable tooth eruption; an abnormal tooth-loss sequence; widely spaced teeth; cavity prone teeth; undeveloped boney ridges in the gum area as well as abnormal tooth growth patterns.
Photo Courtesy of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias